Djokovic’s last hurdle en route to summit
One match from finishing the first calendar-year men's singles Grand Slam in 52 years, Novak Djokovic isn't getting ahead of himself by talking about it.
Djokovic defeated Tokyo Olympic champion Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 on Friday to reach the US Open final, where he will face Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev with tennis history at stake. "
I know everybody wants to talk about history," Djokovic said. "I'm just trying to lock into what I know works for me."
World number one Djokovic will try to complete the first calendar Slam since Rod Laver in 1969 and only the fourth ever after Laver in 1962 and Don Budge in 1938.Australian legend Laver, 83, was in the stands to watch Djokovic continue his quest for history.
But the task remains unfinished, so talking seems premature to Djokovic. "Why should I be happy? The job is not done," he said. "That's kind of the attitude I have."
The 34-year-old Serbian star seeks his fourth US Open title and a 21st career Grand Slam trophy, which would give him the men's all-time lead by one over Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, both absent with injuries. Djokovic, who would be the oldest US Open champion since Ken Rosewall at 35 in 1970, also takes pride in honing his game to perfection. "I know what my strengths are. I stick to them," Djokovic said.
When Daniil Medvedev reached his first U.S. Open final in 2019, he lost a gruelling five-set match against Rafael Nadal after what he called a "crazy" tournament, including a feud with the New York crowd.
But this time, he said on Friday after his straight-set demolition of Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime in the semifinals, everything is different - starting with his desire to win. "Let's be honest, I was already happy being in the final," the Russian said of the 2019 tournament. "I was not feeling like it's a must to win."
The world number two has carved a comfortable path through the draw to reach his third major final, dropping only a single set in six matches and wrapping up his win over Auger-Aliassime in a brisk two hours and four minutes.
The 25-year-old is still searching for his first major title after losing to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final earlier this year. "The more you lose something, the more you want to win it, the more you want to gain it and take it," he said. "I lost two finals. I want to win the third one."