NEW YORK (AFP) - Novak Djokovic will play Daniil Medvedev to try and complete the first men’s singles calendar-year Grand Slam since 1969 after defeating Tokyo Olympic champion Alexander Zverev in Friday’s U.S. Open semifinals.
Top-ranked Djokovic outlasted the German fourth seed 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to reach Sunday’s championship match at Arthur Ashe Stadium against Russian second seed Medvedev.
“I’m going to treat the next match like it’s the last match of my career,” Djokovic said.
One more victory will give the 34-year-old Serbian star the first calendar-year Slam since Rod Laver accomplished it 52 years ago.
“There s only one more match left. All in. Let’s do it,” Djokovic said. “I’m going to put my heart and my soul and my body and my head into that one.”
Djokovic seeks his fourth career U.S. Open title and his 21st overall Slam crown, which would lift him one above the all-time record he shares with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, both absent with injuries.
“These are the moments we live for,” Djokovic said. “These are the kind of unique opportunities we dream of when we are looking for motivation.”
Australian legend Laver, 83, was in the stands to watch as Djokovic took a measure of revenge for Zverev, 24, beating him in an Olympic semi-final, denying Djokovic’s bid for a “Golden Slam” with a Tokyo gold medal.
Medvedev, the 2019 U.S. Open runner-up, defeated Canadian 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 to reach his third career Slam final.