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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday September 13, 2021

Daniil Medvedev had the highest of praise for Novak Djokovic, moments after he claimed his maiden Grand Slam title by defeating the World No.1, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the 2021 US Open final.

Tennis Express

"I never said this to anybody, but I'll say it right now. For me, you are the greatest player in history,” he told Djokovic as the crowd cheered.

Medvedev, who stopped Djokovic’s bid to become the first male player to win the Calendar-Year Grand Slam since Rod Laver in 1969, has a remarkable statistic favoring him when it comes to Djokovic. Of the 82 players who have faced Djokovic when he has been ranked No.1 in the world, only Medvedev (4-2) has a winning record.

In his post-match press conference, Medvedev was asked to clarify his comments and he told the press that he didn’t want to repeat himself, but he meant what he said.

“I'm not going to repeat probably again,” he said. “But, yeah, it's there. It's honest what I said. I feel like it can be even in a way a little bit disrespectful to some other guys, which we all know. That's just I had him there behind me.

“Again, what I said is not like I would have another player behind me and beat him in the final, I would have not said it. So that's what I think. And, yeah, that's all I need to say.”

Medvedev, the first Russian man to win the US Open title since Marat Safin in 2000, is now 1,353 ranking points behind Djokovic in the ATP rankings, but he is 1990 points behind the 20-time major champion in the Race to Turin standings, which is a more accurate tally of how the year-end rankings shape up.

As of Monday, Djokovic is spending an ATP record 338th week at No.1. The all-time record for weeks at No.1 is held by Steffi Graff, who spent 377 weeks at the top.

Djokovic is also bidding for the all-time record for year-end No.1 finishes - he is currently tied with Pete Sampras with six.

Medvedev says reaching No.1 is not a huge concern of his at the moment.

“Let's hope I win Indian Wells, Bercy and Turin,” he said with a smile. “It's a tough challenge. I'm just happy to win a major. I'm going to do my best in every tournament I'm playing. I'm going to see what I'm going to do with the schedule. That's not my first goal in my mind to try to achieve it this year. If I manage to do it one day, it's great.”