According to Novak Djokovic, “the US Open audience pierced my heart.”

At the Majors in 2021, Novak Djokovic was a man with a mission. The Serbian is halfway to tennis greatness after winning his second Roland Garros and ninth Australian Open titles to start the season. Over Matteo Berrettini, Djokovic won his sixth Wimbledon championship and inched closer to the first calendar Grand Slam since Rod Laver’s triumph in 1969.

After losing an Olympic medal in Tokyo, Novak traveled to New York. He wasn’t at his best and dropped six sets on way to the final. With one victory remaining to clinch the 21st Major and a calendar Grand Slam, Djokovic defeated Alexander Zverev in a five-set match for his 27th straight triumph at a Major.

In pursuit of the pinnacle of tennis success, Djokovic suffered one of his worst losses in a lifetime, falling to Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. When under pressure, Novak struggled on the return and unable to make an impact with his shots against the adversary who was fervently seeking to win his maiden Major.

Djokovic felt inspired by the overwhelming support he received at Arthur Ashe Stadium, stating it warmed his heart. He had never experienced anything like it before. After the match, Novak was visibly moved, feeling relieved to have completed his journey and eager to compete for more prestigious titles in the coming years.

The US Open final saw a ton of support for Novak Djokovic.

“Over the years, I’ve learned how to handle losses so that I view them as fantastic chances for personal development. The US Open loss in the final feels like it could not have come at a worse or better time for me.

Obviously, I’m sorry that I lost the game, but I feel fortunate to have received love and support from the crowd and the stadium, something I’ve never known in New York or in many other locations in the world.

And the enthusiasm I felt from the spectators the moment I came onto the court is a victory for life. They surprised me and touched my heart. I was not prepared for that much goodwill, love, and support to come my way.

Perhaps it had an impact on my performance because I’m used to playing in tough circumstances during important matches where I’m also up against the opposition and the fans. I wasn’t on the court for my game, which I was supposed to win because it wasn’t that day.

In a perfect world, I would have triumphed in all four Majors. Even so, knowing that I came so close makes me feel modest about my game and career and provides me great encouragement for the future. It forces me to face reality by forcing me to return to the practice court. There is always room for development and improvement “said Novak Djokovic.