Novak Djokovic one win away from calendar Grand Slam and 21st major title


He needed a full five sets to do so, but world No. 1 of Serbia defeated No. 4 Alexander Zverev of Germany 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in the US Open semifinals. defeated. Friday at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Djokovic, 34, is on equal footing with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with 20 major singles titles – the most in men’s tennis. He will face Russia and world number two Daniil Medvedev in the final on Sunday.

On the court after Friday’s win, Djokovic said: “There’s only one match left. Everything, let’s do it. I’m going to put my heart and my soul and my body and my head in that. I’m going to the next match.” As if this is the last match of my career.”

The last man to complete a calendar Grand Slam – winning the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open in the same year – was Rod Laver in 1969. Laver tweeted A photo of herself watching Friday’s semifinals, “It’s great to be back in New York, watching the History Channel.”

Six years earlier, Serena Williams attempted to complete a calendar Grand Slam that had not been performed on the women’s circuit since Steffi Graf in 1988. Graf also won a gold medal in singles at the Olympics that year, making her the only tennis player – male or female – to complete a so-called Golden Slam, winning Olympic gold in addition to all four majors.

Roberta Vinci stuns Williams in the semifinals of the US Open.

Early Saturday, Djokovic referred to Williams’ run, saying: “I remember I won 2015, I won that year’s US Open. I was talking to Serena. She was very passionate about everything . She is going through this time. I understand it now. Obviously, once you are in that position, you can really understand what a player is going through.”

Djokovic said he understood why Williams wanted to avoid questions about his loss, and talked about the pressure the top players want to keep winning.

He said, “At the end of the day, you have to do well on the court. You are always expected to win. For he is a great legend, he always has the same expectations from everyone including himself.” “It’s no different with me.”

At the post-match press conference, Zverev said of Djokovic: “If you look at the statistics, if you look at a pure game of tennis action, he is the greatest of all time.

“There’s a reason he’s won 20 Grand Slams. That’s why he’s spent the most weeks at world No. 1 … I think mentally he’s the best player to play the game. Mentally In the most crucial moments, I’d rather play against someone other than him.”

Djokovic will play Medvedev on Sunday. The 25-year-old defeated 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassim of Canada in straight sets to reach his third Grand Slam final. He has dropped just one set at the US Open this year.

It will be Medvedev’s second US Open final, having lost in five sets to Nadal in 2019. He lost the Australian Open final to Djokovic in straight sets earlier this year.

After the semi-final win, Medvedev said he learned a lot from that match against Djokovic in Melbourne.

Medvedev said of Djokovic’s strategy, “He was playing different matches than I played before and I was not ready for it. So now I am.”

In the final, he said: “What I’m going to prepare is going to be more interesting in terms of strategy.. No matter what, I’m just going to turn up the heat, if I may say, And try to do my best, even more than what I did in Melbourne.”

At the Tokyo Olympics this summer, Djokovic – who had already won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon – had the opportunity to go for golden slam,

Instead, he went without a medal after losing to Zverev in the semi-finals. It was Zverev, a finalist at last year’s US Open, who won the gold medal in the best of three sets format.