Novak Djokovic easily advanced to the US Open championship match with a commanding 6-3 6-2 7-6 (7-4) victory over American up-and-comer Ben Shelton.
In his first ever grand slam semifinal, Shelton came out with great intensity but was unable to make much of an impact against the consistently impressive Djokovic.
During the match, the second-ranked player dominated and maintained control over Shelton from beginning to end.
“I continue to thrive and be motivated by these types of matches and events, which push me to work just as hard as the younger players,” Djokovic stated during his post-match interview.
I find the grand slams to be the biggest motivator for me to play at my highest level and showcase my best tennis skills.
Serbia’s initial advantage occurred in the sixth game of the match. After taking a 4-2 lead in the first set, Djokovic maintained his momentum and ultimately won the set 6-3.
The positive energy continued into the following set, as Djokovic quickly won the second set 6-2 and gained a strong advantage in the match at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
No tennis player wants to find themselves two sets down against Djokovic, but even though he was trailing, Shelton can still take pride in his performance in the final set.
The 47th-ranked player put in a lot of effort, causing difficulties for Djokovic as he tried to reach the final. The 23-time grand slam champion’s serve was broken twice in the final set, leading to a tiebreak.
In the tiebreak, Djokovic won the third set and commemorated by copying his rival’s customary celebration. This includes pretending to hold a phone to his ear and then ending the call, a signature move of Shelton’s triumphs throughout his US Open journey.
The victory also signifies that the Serbian has a 30-1 record against opponents competing in their home Grand Slam, having defeated the hometown favorite Shelton.
Djokovic stated that it is always challenging to face an American player in the quarterfinals. He emphasized the importance of staying calm and composed during critical moments.
“Everything was going smoothly for me today until he made a comeback, making it anyone’s game in the third set. This is the type of competitive atmosphere we all thrive in, so I am incredibly happy with today’s victory.”
At the age of 20, there will be numerous chances for the young player with a powerful serve to excel in upcoming tournaments. Judging from his performance at this year’s US Open, he possesses more than sufficient skill to achieve this.
Djokovic has achieved a remarkable feat by reaching his 10th US Open final, tying the record. In the upcoming Sunday final at Flushing Meadows, he will strive to secure his fourth title.
He also has the opportunity to match Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam singles titles, potentially making history.
The individual, aged 36, will participate in the championship match at Arthur Ashe Stadium against the victor of the semifinal matchup between Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev, which takes place later on Friday.