Daniil Medvedev is the 2021 U.S. Open men's singles champion.
He is also $2.5 million richer.
Medvedev defeated Novak Djokovic in Sunday's championship match at Arthur Ashe Stadium 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. The result was the biggest prize in a record total purse of $57.5 million.
Jackie Spiegel of Sporting News noted that total is $300,000 more than the pre-COVID purse of $57.2 million in 2019. Spiegel also shared the breakdown for the purse:
- Winner: $2.5 million
- Runner-up: $1.25 million
- Semifinalists: $675,000
- Quarterfinalists: $425,000
- Round of 16: $265,000
- Round of 32: $180,000
- Round of 64: $115,000
- Round of 128: $75,000
The biggest storyline coming into the tournament was whether Djokovic would complete the calendar Grand Slam and surpass Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with his 21st major championship.
Sunday figured to be anything but easy, though, as he held a narrow 5-3 lead in head-to-head meetings with Medvedev prior to the championship match. One of those five wins came at this year's Australian Open when Djokovic won in straight sets.
Straight sets largely escaped the top seed throughout the U.S. Open, as a pattern emerged where he would lose the first set and then adjust to seize control and win the match. In fact, Djokovic lost the first set in the third round against Kei Nishikori, fourth round against Jenson Brooksby, quarterfinals against Matteo Berrettini and semifinals against Alexander Zverev.
That pattern continued in Sunday's final, although Medvedev was more up for the challenge on building on that early momentum than previous opponents.
Medvedev won the second set as well and created a pressure-packed situation in which Djokovic had to win three straight sets to make history.
That pressure was ultimately too much, as Medvedev won two early breaks and was in complete control of the third set with a 4-0 lead. Djokovic finally found his serve to win a game and then earned a break back after Medvedev double-faulted on a championship point.
It appeared as if the challenger was in some trouble after missing such a golden opportunity, but he bounced back on his next service game and clinched the U.S. Open title and the prize money that comes with it.