At each grand slam this yr, Novak Djokovic has had a chance to make historical past, to stamp his authority on the sport as unequivocally its finest males’s participant, to equal or break one other report.
He drew stage with Rafael Nadal’s 22 grand slam titles on the Australian Open, pulled clear with a males’s report 23 grand slam titles on the French Open, was defeated by Carlos Alcaraz within the Wimbledon ultimate, and now has one other likelihood to equal Margaret Courtroom’s report of 24 grand slam titles within the US Open ultimate on Sunday.
Standing in his method is third seed Daniil Medvedev who surprised Alcaraz within the semifinals and who has already defeated Djokovic in a US Open ultimate earlier than, and in straight units.
Although Medvedev’s sport stays completely suited to the quick onerous courts, he’s anticipating Djokovic to be “10 instances higher than he was that day.”
“In opposition to Novak, it’s the identical. He’s all the time higher than earlier time he performs,” Medvedev stated, in response to the ATP Tour. “For instance, I beat him within the US Open ultimate, he beat me in Bercy in an incredible match. Carlos beat him at Wimbledon, he beat him in Cincinnati. Novak goes to be his finest model on Sunday, and I’ve to be the all time model of myself if I need to attempt to beat him.”
When Djokovic and Medvedev final performed one another in a grand slam ultimate, it was the Russian who upset the percentages and thwarted Djokovic’s try to win a then report twenty first slam and full the primary males’s calendar grand slam – successful the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open in the identical yr – since Rod Laver in 1969.
Since successful his first-ever grand slam at that US Open in 2021, Medvedev has come near successful one other, taking a two-set lead within the 2022 Australian Open ultimate in opposition to Nadal however finally succumbed to defeat.
“The problem is that you simply play a man who gained 23 grand slams and I’ve just one,” he stated, in response to the US Open. “After I beat him right here (within the 2021 ultimate), I managed to play higher than myself, and I have to do it once more. There is no such thing as a different method.”
At 36, Djokovic might grow to be the oldest man to win the US Open singles title within the Open Period, surpassing the report set by Ken Rosewall in 1970.
“Each Grand Slam ultimate may very well be the final one,” he informed reporters forward of the ultimate. “Ten years in the past, I felt like, ‘Hey, I nonetheless have fairly just a few years forward of me.’ I don’t know what number of I’ve forward of me now, or what number of years the place I [can] play 4 Slams in the entire season. So I’m conscious of the event.”
Will probably be Djokovic’s a hundred and first match on the US Open, a match which he has gained thrice already in his profession, although not since 2018.
Djokovic has had a comparatively simple run to the ultimate, apart from surviving a scare within the third spherical when he discovered himself two units down in opposition to his compatriot Laslo Djere, he has accomplished each different match in simply three units, minimizing his time on court docket as he has swept apart the competitors.
It marks a outstanding finish to a yr by which he has reached the ultimate of each grand slam, including two extra titles to his assortment, after a 2022 by which he couldn’t compete in Australia or the USA as a consequence of his resolution to stay unvaccinated in opposition to Covid-19.
For Medvedev, taking part in within the US Open ultimate caps a powerful hard-court season by which he reached 5 consecutive finals on the floor and gained 4 titles.
His efficiency in opposition to Alcaraz within the semifinals displayed his highly effective serve, shotmaking and tenacity, all marking him as a tough opponent for Djokovic.
“You need to battle ‘til the top, you need to win,” Medvedev stated, in response to the ATP. “And that’s how you ought to be within the ultimate of a grand slam.”
The ultimate will start at 4p ET on Sunday, and viewers within the US can watch all of the motion on ESPN, whereas Sky Sports activities will broadcast the matches within the UK.