NEW YORK -- Novak Djokovic emerged from an exhilarating and exhausting U.S. Open final with a 24th Grand Slam title on Sunday night, using every ounce of his energy and some serve-and-volley guile to get past Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3 in a match that was more closely contested than the straight-set score indicated.
Djokovic, a 36-year-old from Serbia, moved one major singles title in front of Serena Williams to become the first player to win 24 in the Open era, which began in 1968. Margaret Court also collected a total of 24, but 13 of those came before professionals were admitted to the Slam events.
There were moments, particularly in the 1-hour, 44-minute second set that was as much about tenacity as talent, 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.
This triumph against Medvedev, the opponent who beat him in the 2021 final at Flushing Meadows to stop a bid for the first calendar-year Grand Slam in more than a half-century, made Djokovic the oldest male champion at the U.S. Open in the Open era.