World number 1 Novak Djokovic is now just one victory away from achieving the coveted calendar slam and a record 21st major title after winning a see-sawing semi final clash with German Alexander Zverev.
For the fourth time in this US Open campaign Djokovic has dropped the opening set before going on to win, and it’s the 10th time from 28 slam matches this year that he has overcome losing the first.
Zverev entered the clash with confidence having come from a set and a break down to defeat Djokovic at the Tokyo Olympics in their most recent battle.
The 4th seed had been serving magnificently throughout the tournament and that continued as he clinched the opener whilst conceding only 5 points in his service games.
Zverev broke Djokovic in the 9th game before calmly serving it out for 6-4 with the Serbs 11 unforced errors proving costly.
The second set began with Zverev missing a forehand at 30-30 in Djokovic’s opening service game that would have set up a break point. Djokovic would go on to hold and Zverev double faulted when down break point himself in the next game and the momentum had swung.
The 3 time US Open champion closed out the second set 6-2, capitalising on Zverev’s level dropping ever so slightly.
The third set saw both players create opportunities, and at 2-2 15-40, Djokovic dug himself out of a hole, held serve and when presented with the same chance at 15-40 in Zverev’s fifth service game he took it and clinched a 2 sets to 1 lead.
Zverev was still winning 80% of points on his first serve through sets 2 and 3, but the problem was he was only landing 52% of first serves as opposed to 73% in the first set.
The Fourth set saw Zverev get the early break and like the opening set he found a terrific rhythm on serve giving up only 7 points for the set on his own serve.
Djokovic, having been taken to five sets for the first time since the French Open final had to find another gear and as we so often see that’s exactly what he did, with back to back breaks in the fifth and another late to claim the decider 6-2.
The victory means the slam year will end the way it started with Djokovic taking on Daniil Medvedev in the final, just as we saw at Melbourne Park back in February.
For Medvedev, it is a chance to win a maiden grand slam title on the back of an amazing year personally, whilst for Djokovic it is the most special of opportunities.
"These are the moments we live for,these are the kind of unique opportunities that we dream of."
"I'm going to treat the next match like it's the last match of my career," Djokovic said.
Listen to The First Serve with Brett Phillips and Sam Groth wrap up the US Open on Monday 13th September at 7pm AEST on 1116AM SEN Melbourne, 1629AM SEN SA / replayed at 8pm AEST on 1170am Sydney or listen live and catch up on the SEN App.
Do solar panels work in winter? Solar energy output in Australia throughout winter is surprisingly high in some cities. You can learn more about better solar energy at B Solar. Talk with a B.Solar Advisor. Search for B Solar or visit b.solar to learn more.