09/11/2021 at 7:24 AM CEST
. / Flushing Meadows
Serbian Novak Djokovic, number one in the world, said that tonight surpass the German Alexander Zverev, fourth seed, in the semifinal of the United States Open (4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 4-6 and 6-2) It had been a great battle, but the decisive one was missing. It will be the one that stars on Sunday against Russian Daniil Medvedev, second seeded, who in the first semifinal beat the twelfth seed Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 7-5 and 6-2. “I’m going to treat the next game as if it were the last game of my career,” Djokovic said. “I’ll give it my all on the field.”
As he did against Zverev during the three hours and 33 minutes they played in the center court Arthur Ashe Stadium, where once again, he knew how to find a way to secure the decisive goals, as happened in the fifth set, with the help of Zverev, that gave him the second consecutive “break” opened the way to a triumph, which could also have been the young German player. “I’ve had every chance to win, but the second break of the fifth set was ridiculous and that cost me the game,” Zverev commented. “I think I could have won the game, but it is also no news that in the end Djokovic always finds a way to get the points he needs.”
For his part, Djokovic, who is now 36-10 in five-set matches and Zverev is 16-10, including 4-0 and 1-3, respectively this year, also managed to put the clashes against him 7-3. 24-year-old German tennis player, who saw the end of a 16-0 streak since beat the Serbian in the Tokyo 2020 semi-finals when he got the gold medal. “Alexander is a great champion. He is someone I admire on and off the pitch. We get along very well, he is one of my best friends. We train a lot, we see each other a lot in Monaco, which he uses as a point guard,” said Djokovic. “He’s a great guy and an even better player. I knew going on the court today would be a great battle.”
It was, but it was worth the fight because Djokovic moved one more win away from becoming first man. since Rod Laver in 1969 to complete a Grand Slam by claiming all four major trophies in a single season. “I would like to thank you, because the atmosphere was incredible, the best atmosphere of the tournament so far,” Djokovic declared to the fans who filled the stands of the Arthur Ashe Stadium center court, and among them was the legendary Laver.
Djokovic admitted that nothing that happened on the field surprised him because he was waiting for the best Zverev, who was going to try to repeat last year’s final, but he was always ready for the duel. “These are the moments we live for. This is the kind of unique opportunities that we dream of every day when we wake up and are trying to find the motivation to go out and do the same things over and over again, “said Djokovic. “It is worth playing in this incredible stadium with this atmosphere. Thank you very much for making it special.”
For most of the intense clash, Djokovic was stoic. But after securing a double-break lead in the deciding set, the top seed unleashed a cathartic roar toward his team and hit the gas from there to secure victory. Djokovic, who will play Medvedev in the 31st final of a Grand Slam, tied with Swiss Roger Federer for the best record of all time, admitting that the challenge will be the most “difficult”. “The three triumphs that I have achieved in Australia, France and Wimbledon are already part of history, now there is the one that can make the whole year special, unique and historic,” admitted Djokovic. “My mentality will be none other than to go out and win and do my best tennis.”
One more victory for Djokovic will leave him with 21 Grand Slam titles, the most in the history of the men’s competition to leave behind Federer and the Spanish Rafael Nadal, with whom he is now tied with each of them having 20 titles.
Zverev was by far Djokovic’s toughest test yetAnd he will have to regain consistency in his tennis if he wants to beat a rival like Medvedev, who reaches his second Open final in three years in top form. In addition, he has also shown, unlike Zverev, that in decisive moments his control is complete and he does not lose concentration at all, which is what happened to the young German tennis player, who was closer than ever to having achieved what would have been his second consecutive victory against Djokovic. He did not take advantage of the opportunities and paid dearly with the elimination and the departure of another Grand Slam without having been able to get the title that he so badly needs if he wants to consecrate himself in world tennis.