Halfway through a second set that lasted 1 hour, 44 minutes, a test of tenacity as much as talent amid a U.S. Open 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 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 some 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?”
He moved one major singles title ahead of Serena Williams and is 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.
There were snapshots, particularly in the miniseries of a second set, when it appeared Djokovic was faltering. After some of the most gruelling 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. And then, suddenly, he would snap to.
“That’s Novak,” Medvedev said. “No matter what, he can be there.”
There was an inescapable sense, on the part of the participants and any observer, that whichever man succumbed in the second set would be unable to overcome it.
“I don’t think I have ever played a longer set in my life,” Djokovic said.
Medvedev’s take on that segment of the match?
“Oh, regrets, for sure,” he said. “Should have won it.”
Medvedev came 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 by hitting it down the line, he instead went cross-court, and Djokovic had it covered. In the tiebreaker, Medvedev led 5-4 before Djokovic grabbed the next three points.
One key adjustment: When Djokovic was looking more bedraggled, he turned to serve-and-volleying, not his usual sort of tactic. 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 the 27-year-old Russian’s fifth major final and he is 1-4, with two losses apiece to Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. The victory 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.
That weighed on Djokovic.
“I really did my best in the last 48 hours not to allow the importance of the moment and what’s on the line get to my head,” Djokovic said Sunday, “because two years ago that’s what happened, and I underperformed.”
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 10 trophies from the Australian Open, seven from Wimbledon and three from the French Open, extending his lead among men. Nadal is next with 22; Roger Federer retired with 20.
When it was over, Medvedev tapped Djokovic on the chest as they talked at the net. Djokovic flung his racket, put his arms up and then knelt on the court, head bowed. Then he found his daughter for a hug. His son and wife came next, along with his parents and his team.
“This is one of the biggest achievements in (sports) history,” said his coach, Goran Ivanisevic. “We’re not talking about tennis. We are talking generally in sports.”
Soon, Djokovic was donning a shirt with “24″ and “Mamba Forever” written on it as a tribute to the late NBA star Kobe Bryant, a close friend who wore that jersey number. And on top of that went a white jacket with the same significant number on the chest.
As good as ever, Djokovic went 27-1 in the sport’s most prestigious events this season: The blemish was a loss to Carlos Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final. Djokovic will return to No. 1 in the rankings Monday, overtaking Alcaraz, who was the defending champion at Flushing Meadows but was eliminated by No. 3 Medvedev in the semi-finals.
At the start Sunday, with the Arthur Ashe Stadium retractable roof shut because of rain in the forecast, Medvedev seemed jittery, the looping swings of his white racket breaking down repeatedly.
Djokovic, in contrast, was as reliable as a metronome, anticipating nearly everything headed his way and scurrying to retrieve and respond.
Djokovic relies on analytics and a foe’s tendencies. He leans on instinct and a masterful ability to read opposing serves and groundstrokes. On Sunday, his blue shoes carried him right where he needed to be, more often than not, and his contorting, stretching, sliding allowed him to keep the ball in play, when required, and create flip-the-switch offence, too, if desired.
Medvedev plays similarly. Points lasted 25 shots, 35 shots, more.
Was Djokovic perfect? No. But he was good enough throughout, as he so often is. He has won exactly a third of the 72 Grand Slam tournaments he has entered since his 2005 debut, a remarkable rate. That includes gathering trophies at seven of the past 10 majors he entered.
Medvedev joked it’s about time Djokovic moved on and let someone else take home some hardware.
Don’t count on it, Daniil.
“I’m going to keep going. I feel good in my own body. I still feel I’ve got the support of my environment, of my team, of my family,” Djokovic said. “Knowing that I play at such a high level still, and I win the biggest tournaments … I don’t want to leave this sport if I’m still at the top.”
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How to Spot a Trustworthy Online Casino in Canada
Spotting a trustworthy online casino isn’t hard once you know what to look for, but until then, you better hold off on signing up or making a deposit. This quick guide on how to find a reputable online casino will cover five different factors you can evaluate to determine whether or not a casino is trustworthy. While you could just use a site like the trusted source WikiHow that lists the best online casinos Canada, it does help to be able to evaluate the trustworthiness of casinos on your own. Likewise, you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. Casino review sites are a great resource, but it doesn’t hurt to also do a little digging of your own. Without further delay, here’s a quick and easy guide on how to spot a trustworthy online casino.
Checking for Proper Licensing and Regulation
One of the first things you should do when assessing the trustworthiness of the best online casinos Canada is to check for proper licensing and regulation. Reputable online casinos are licensed by recognized regulatory bodies such as the Malta Gaming Authority, the UK Gambling Commission, or the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. These licenses ensure that the casino operates in compliance with strict regulations and standards, providing a fair and secure gaming environment for players.
Never play at a casino that does not have a license or whose license is unverifiable. The easiest way to verify a license is to head to the licensor’s website and cross-check their registry with the name of the casino you’re looking at. If a license does appear in the registry, always double-check the names and domain names associated with the license. Some scam sites use domains that look similar to real casinos and act as if they are operating under their license. When in doubt, head to the URL listed on the license you find in the registry to be sure that you’re at the right site.
Evaluating the Casino’s Security Measures
Examining the Casino’s Game Selection
Game selection is another important factor to consider when choosing from the best online casinos Canada. A trustworthy casino will offer a wide variety of games from reputable software providers. Look for popular titles from well-known developers such as Microgaming, NetEnt, and Playtech. Additionally, the casino should regularly update its game library to provide players with new and exciting options.
Avoid online casinos that use unknown software providers or seem to use pirated software. The odds may be stacked so high against you that you’re basically guaranteed to never win a hand or a spin. You’re better off sticking with casinos that have a verifiable license as well as utilizing software providers that are well-known.
Verifying the Casino’s Customer Support
Good customer support is essential for a positive online casino experience. A trustworthy casino will have a responsive and knowledgeable support team available to assist you with any queries or concerns. Look for casinos that offer multiple support channels, such as live chat, email, and telephone. Additionally, check for the casino’s operating hours to ensure that support is available when you need it. You should also try and give their customer support a test run. By simply asking their 24/7 Live Chat simple questions about the site, you can get a feel for their response time and overall knowledge. Sites with poor customer service will often take a long time to connect to an agent and be unable to answer even the simplest of queries.
Looking for Fair and Transparent Bonus Terms
Bonuses and promotions are a common feature of online casinos, but it’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions associated with these offers. A trustworthy casino will have fair and transparent bonus terms, clearly outlining the wagering requirements, maximum bet limits, and any other conditions that apply. Avoid casinos that have overly restrictive or confusing bonus terms, as this may indicate a lack of transparency.
In conclusion, when looking for a trustworthy online casino, it’s important to consider factors such as proper licensing and regulation, security measures, game selection, customer support, and bonus terms. By taking the time to evaluate these aspects, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable gaming experience. Remember to always gamble responsibly and set limits for yourself to avoid any potential issues.
Canadiens acquire Tanner Pearson, trade Casey DeSmith to Canucks
A third-round pick in 2025 also goes to Montreal in the deal completed Tuesday.
Pearson hasn’t played since suffering a broken hand last November during a game in Montreal.
Pearson, 31, had one goal and four assists in 14 games last season.
In 590 career games with the Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles Kings, Pearson has 133 goals and 139 assists for 272 points.
The Kings picked the Barrie Colts product in the first round (30th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.
Pearson is in the final year of a three-year contract with a cap hit of $3.25 million.
DeSmith, 32, has been with the Pittsburgh Penguins since 2017-18. He was acquired by the Canadians in a three-team deal also involving the San Jose Sharks last month.
DeSmith was 15-16-4 with a 3.17 goals-against average and .905 save percentage last season.
In 134 career games, the undrafted DeSmith is 58-44-15 with a 2.81 GAA and .912 save percentage.
DeSmith is on the final year of a two-year deal with a cap hit of $1.8 million.
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