New York: Halfway through a second set that lasted 1 hour, 44 minutes, a test of tenacity as much as talent amid a US Open 2023 final as exhausting as it was exhilarating, Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev engaged each other in a 32-stroke point.
It was among many such elongated exchanges between two men whose styles are nearly mirror images, and Djokovic capitulated on this one by netting a backhand. He fell to his back and stayed down, chest heaving. The crowd roared. Djokovic sat up but remained on the ground for a bit. The crowd roared more, appreciating the effort, saluting the entertainment.
Using every ounce of his energy and some serve-and-volley guile — an old man with new tricks — Djokovic emerged for a 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3 victory over Medvedev at Flushing Meadows to claim a historic 24th Grand Slam title on Sunday night in a match more closely contested than the straight-set score indicated.
“I never imagined that I would be here standing with you talking about 24 Slams. I never thought that would be the reality,” said Djokovic, a 36-year-old from Serbia and the tournament’s oldest male champion in the Open era, which dates to 1968. “But the last couple of years, I felt I have a chance, I have a shot for history, and why not grab it if it’s presented?”
WATCH Novak Djokovic win the US Open 2023 title HERE…
24 and counting for Novak Djokovic! pic.twitter.com/JHBdaR98Qs
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 10, 2023
He moved one major singles title ahead of Serena Williams to become the first player to win 24 in the Open era. Margaret Court also collected a total of 24, but 13 of those came before professionals were admitted to the Slam events. “It obviously means the world to me,” said Djokovic, who will return to No. 1 in the rankings on Monday.
There were moments, particularly in the miniseries of a second set, when Djokovic appeared to be faltering. After some of the most grueling points — and there were many — he would lean over with hands on knees or use his racket for support or pause to stretch his legs.
He allowed Medvedev to come within a single point of taking that set while returning at 6-5. Djokovic rushed the net behind his serve, and while Medvedev had an opening for a backhand passing shot, he did not come through. That was a key adjustment: When Djokovic was looking more bedraggled, he turned to serve-and-volleying, not his usual sort of tactic, to great success. He won 20 of 22 points he played that way, and 37 of 44 overall on the points when he went to the net, some with spectacular volleys or half-volleys at angles a pool shark would appreciate.
Medvedev never countered. “I should have been less stubborn,” Medvedev said.
This was Medvedev’s fifth Grand Slam final and he is now 1-4, with two losses to Djokovic and two to Rafael Nadal. The one victory? That came against Djokovic in the 2021 final at Flushing Meadows, stopping a bid for the first men’s calendar-year Grand Slam in more than a half-century.
Djokovic’s fourth championship in New York, where he was unable to compete a year ago because he isn’t vaccinated against COVID-19, goes alongside his 10 trophies from the Australian Open, seven from Wimbledon and three from the French Open, extending his lead on the men’s Slam list. Nadal, sidelined since January with a hip problem, is next with 22; Roger Federer, who announced his retirement a year ago, finished with 20.
WATCH: Virat Kohli Shakes A Leg On ‘Lungi Dance’ Song During India Vs Sri Lanka Asia Cup 2023 Super 4 Match
Former India captain Virat Kohli may have failed with the bat against Sri Lanka in their Super 4 match of the Asia Cup 2023 on Tuesday but that didn’t prevent him from having a gala time on the field. Kohli was seen shaking a leg during India’s bowling innings against Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Kohli scored just 3 as India were bundled out for 213 with young Sri Lankan spinner Dunith Wellalage claiming 5/40 in 10 overs. In reply, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 172 as India won by 41 runs to book their place in the Asia Cup 2023 Final set to take place on September 17.
Watch Virat Kohli shake a leg to ‘Lungi Dance’ song during India vs Sri Lanka Asia Cup 2023 Super 4…
Virat Kohli is dancing on Lungi Dance song during the yesterday’s match at Colombo.
King Kohli – What a lovely character he is, He is the best..!! pic.twitter.com/kymIQNP3lz
— CricketMAN2 (@ImTanujSingh) September 13, 2023
Kohli has been in sensational form with the bat over the last year, scoring 5 international hundreds in ODI cricket – same as Indian opener Shubman Gill. On Monday, Kohli scored his 47th international century in ODI cricket, scoring 122 not out against Pakistan in their Asia Cup 2023 Super 4 match.
On Tuesday, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli reached a total of 5,000 runs as a pair, becoming the fastest to do so. The duo reached this landmark during India’s Super Four Asia Cup clash against Sri Lanka.
Though the partnership between Rohit and Virat, as the star duo is known among the fans, was short and restricted to just 10 runs after the dismissal of Virat for three, it was enough to touch this landmark. In 86 innings, they have scored 5,008 runs as a pair at an average of 61.82. They have had 18 hundred run stands and 15 half-century stands, with their best being a partnership of 246 runs.
They are the fastest to reach the landmark, overtaking the legendary West Indies duo of Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes, who reached the mark in 97 innings. They are the eighth-most successful duo of all time, with the best being Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, who scored 8,227 runs as a pair in 176 innings at an average of 47.55 and 26 century and 29 half-century stands. Their best partnership is 258 runs.
Behind Sachin-Sourav and Rohit-Shikhar Dhawan (5,193 runs at an average of 45.15 with 18 century and 15 half-century stands), they are the third-best Indian batting pair. Coming to the match, India elected to bat first and an 80-run partnership between skipper Rohit Sharma (53 in 48 balls, seven fours and three sixes) and Shubman Gill (19) helped lay a foundation for a big score.
(with ANI inputs)
Asia Cup 2023 Points Table: How Can Babar Azam’s Side Set Up India Vs Pakistan Final On September 17
Team India have become the first side to book their berth in the Asia Cup 2023 Final with their 41-run win over Sri Lanka in their second Super 4 match at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday. Rohit Sharma’s side had earlier thrashed Pakistan by 228 runs in a rain-hit Super 4 clash which ended on the ‘Reserve Day’ on Monday.
With 2 wins in 2 matches in the Super 4 stage, Team India now have 4 points and net run-rate of 2.690 and have booked their place in the Asia Cup 2023 Final which will take place on Sunday (September 17). After India’s win over Sri Lanka, Bangladesh are out of the race of qualification for the Final and need a miracle with 2 losses from 2 matches and a NRR of -0.749.
Check Asia Cup 2023 Super 4 Points after India’s win over Sri Lanka HERE…
India _ Sri Lanka
__ Team India halts Sri Lanka’s incredible 13-match ODI winning streak, securing their spot in the Asia Cup 2023 Final! _
_ Check out the updated Super 4-point table.#AsiaCup #INDvsSL #TeamIndia #KuldeepYadav #Cricket #Trending #BreakingNews pic.twitter.com/1Gbmkg7FpV
— Indian Sports Fans. Fan Curated & Original (@IndianSportFan) September 12, 2023
Sri Lanka are still currently in second place with 2 points from 2 matches with NRR of -0.200 while Babar Azam’s Pakistan are in third place with 2 points as well but a NRR of -1.892. Sri Lanka and Pakistan will face each other in the fifth match of the Super 4 stage and the winner of the contest will book a place in the final with India.
Here are the Asia Cup 2023 Final Qualification scenario for Sri Lanka and Pakistan…
Sri Lanka – Points: 2; Net run rate: – 0.200; Matches remaining: Pakistan (Thursday)
The equation is simple for Sri Lanka, win against Pakistan and book their place in a second-successive Asia Cup final. However, if the match of Thursday is washed out due to rain, Sri Lanka will be progressing to the final on account of their superior net run-rate.
Pakistan – Points: 2; Net run rate: – 1.892; Matches remaining: Sri Lanka (Thursday)
For Pakistan also, the situation is same as Sri Lanka. The Super 4 match on Thursday between Sri Lanka and Pakistan is a virtual semifinal for Babar Azam’s side. A win will ensure a Final berth while a loss in their final Super 4 match will send the flying home.
If the SL vs Pakistan Super 4 match is washed out due to rain, hosts Pakistan will be flying back home due to their poor net run-rate after their massive loss to India on Monday.
Asia Cup 2023: Afghan Mystery Girl Celebrates Team India’s 41-Run Win Over Sri Lanka In Super 4 Match, See PIC
Team India has been receiving unexpected support from across the border from as far off as Afghanistan during their Asia Cup 2023 campaign in Sri Lanka. Rohit Sharma’s side posted their second win in successive days – hammering Sri Lanka by 41 runs on Tuesday to book their place in the Asia Cup 2023 Final on Sunday (September 17).
Afghanistan mystery girl Wazhma Ayoubi has taken social media by storm, not only for her gorgeous look, but the way she has been supporting the Indian cricket team over the last week. On Tuesday night, she posted another picture of herself on social media platform ‘X’, formerly Twitter, with the caption, “Bharat wins by 41 runs”.
Wazhma Ayoubi is a model, business owner and philanthropist based out of Dubai. Born in Afghanistan in 1995, she left the country which was in political turmoil.
Wazhma owns the fashion brand ‘LAMAN’ and hopes to act in Bollywood someday. After Afghanistan were knocked out, Wazhma turned into fan of her second ‘home’ team – India. She cheered for the ‘Men In Blue’ vs Pakistan and Nepal during the group fixtures.
On Sunday and Monday, September 10 and 11, when India played Pakistan in the Super 4s, Wazhma supported India again. She congratulated Rohit Sharma and Co after the team thumped Pakistan by a massive margin of 228 runs.
Wazhma did not just congratulate India for the win, but also chose her words smartly. Instead of saying ‘India’, Wazhma wrote ‘Bharat’ to congratulate Rohit Sharma’s side.
Meanwhile, Team India captain Rohit Sharma was pleased to come out of a tough encounter against Sri Lanka with a win under his belt. “For us also to play a game like that under pressure on a slightly challenging pitch. It was challenging in a lot of aspects. We are definitely looking to play on pitches like this to see what we can achieve, we might as well come here and play on pitches like these,” Rohit Sharma said after the match on Tuesday.
On bowling of Hardik Pandya, Rohit Sharma said, “He has worked really hard in his bowling for the last couple of years. It doesn’t happen overnight and it’s pleasing to see. He looked like taking a wicket off every ball. Was not an easy target to defend as the pitch got easier at the end and we had to put it consistently in one area and I think we did quite well.”
Team India have booked their place in the Asia Cup 2023 Final and will play Bangladesh in their final Super 4 match at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Friday.
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