Novak Djokovic will contest his 31st major final on Sunday, which ties Roger Federer for the all-time record, and his 9th at the US Open, which breaks a tie with Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl for the Open era record.
Novak Djokovic is now just one victory away from becoming the first male tennis player to win the Grand Slam since Rod Laver in 1969. Djokovic set up a final with No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev, following a triumph in the second men’s semifinal against Alexander Zverev at Flushing Meadows for the 2021 US Open. The Serbian will contest his 31st major final on Sunday, which ties Roger Federer for the all-time record, and his 9th at the US Open. It also breaks a tie with Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl for the Open era record.
Zverev was good in spurts and inspired in others, but ultimately not good enough to stop Djokovic. The German took the opening set before going on to wrestle the fourth. However, the world No. 1 held his nerve in the final set to record a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 triumph that places him on the brink of history.
“I know that people would like to hear me talk about it but there is not much to talk about. There is only one match leftーall in. I’m going to put my heart and my soul and my body and my head into that one. I’m going to treat the next match like it is the last match of my career,” said Djokovic.
“The atmosphere was amazing. The best atmosphere of the tournament so far. These are the moments we live for and these are the unique opportunities that we dream of every day when we wake up and try to find the motivation to go out there. It pays off when you are playing in this beautiful stadium with this atmosphere,” he added.
The Serbian delivered a fine performance in an encounter that was concluded in three hours and 34 minutes, featuring an incredible 53-stroke rally in the third set. Djokovic had suffered a defeat against Zverev in the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics, with the German rallying back from a set and a break down to pull off a triumph.
Medvedev swept past Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2, in Friday’s first semifinal. However, he trails Djokovic 5-3 by a lifetime head-to-head, and has never defeated the Serbian at a Grand Slam. However, Medvedev is eager to record a maiden win, as evident from his remarks following the triumph.
“I always give my best, but I feel like I didn’t leave my heart on the court in Melbourne. Even if, of course I wanted to, there was something not turning up in this match. That’s what I’m going to try to do on Arthur Ashe with hopefully 100 percent of fans. No matter the score, I’m just going to turn up the heat, if I can say, and try to do my best, even more than what I did in Melbourne,” he said.
The Russian served 12 aces and won a devastating 81% of his first-serve points in the semi-final encounter. Medvedev has now lost but a single set in advancing to the final.