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Djokovic's Consolation: Emotions as Strong as Winning 21 Grand Slams from the NY Crowd

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday September 12, 2021

Novak Djokovic’s quest for the Calendar Slam ended in heartbreak but the 20-time major champion did gain something truly important on Sunday as he fell to Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the 2021 US Open final.

Tennis Express

The Serbian, close to tears, that his soul was touched by the crowd inside of Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday.

“Tonight, even though I have not won the match, my heart is filled with joy because you made me feel very special,” Djokovic said as the crowd erupted. “You guys touched my soulーI’ve never felt like this in New York.”

The World No.1 elaborated on his words in his post-match press conference, saying: “So many different emotions. What I said on the ceremony, I really mean it. Of course, part of me is very sad. It's a tough one to swallow, this loss, I mean, considering everything that was on the line.”

Djokovic says that he was pleasantly surprised how the packed house of over 25,000 fans had his back as they cheered on his quest for history.

“I felt something I never felt in my life here in New York,” he said. “The crowd made me very special. They pleasantly surprised me. I did not know, I did not expect anything, but the amount of support and energy and love I got from the crowd was something that I'll remember forever. I mean, that's the reason on the changeover I just teared up. The emotion, the energy was so strong. I mean, it's as strong as winning 21 Grand Slams.

“That's how I felt, honestly. I felt very, very special. They touched my heart, honestly. Of course, in the end of the day you want to win. You're a professional athlete. These are the kind of moments that you cherish. These are connections that you establish with people that will be lasting for a very long time.”

Photo credit: Garrett Ellwood/USTA