I’m going for the fourth US Open, I don’t think about anything else, although it’s there and people like me to talk about it. I am going to treat this next game as if it were the last of my career ”. Novak Djokovic said it at Arthur Ashe, during a memorable interview with Patrick McEnroe after coming back and beating Alexander Zverev in the semifinals (4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 4-6 and 6-2 in three hours and 33 minutes. He was referring to the final that he disputes this Sunday against Daniil Medvedev (10:00 p.m., Eurosport) and avoided talking about the records he has within reach of a victory: the 21st title in the majors, with which he would break the tie at 20 that he maintains with Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer, and the Grand Slam on the calendar, which means winning in the same year in Australia, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and New York, something that only got five tennis players, Graf, Court, Laver, Connolly and Budge (see table).
To have this great opportunity, Djokovic fought tirelessly against an exalted and mature Zverev, who at 24 surrendered to the most intelligent and powerful version of the 34-year-old Serbian. “He is the greatest of all time”, said the German, who had beaten him a few weeks ago at the Tokyo Games and was on a 16-win streak. This time he could not with the Serbian, who will make good the words of his rival and good friend (“He’s a great guy on and off the court,” he said) if he surpasses Medvedev, a finalist for the second time in the US tournament.
Most men’s Grand Slam titles
|-.||Roger Federer (Sui)||twenty|
|-.||Novak Djokovic (Ser)||twenty|
|Four.||Pete Sampras (USA)||14|
|5.||Bjorn Borg (Sue)||eleven|
More Grand Slam finals
|1.||Novak Djokovic (Ser)||31||20-10|
|-.||Roger Federer (Sui)||31||20-11|
|Four.||Ivan Lendl (RCh / USA)||19||8-11|
|5.||Pete Sampras (USA)||18||14-4|
|6.||Rod Laver (Aus)||17||11-6|
Tennis players who achieved the Grand Slam
|1988||Steffi Graf (Ale)|
|1970||Margaret Court (Aus)|
|1969||Rod Laver (Aus)|
|1962||Rod Laver (Aus)|
|1953||Maureen Connolly (USA)|
|1938||Don Budge (USA)|
Unlike Djokovic, the Russian has hardly any pressure and is quite a cool player on the court. That is its biggest advantage. Although last February he fell in three sets against the Balkan in the final of the Australian Open, Medvedev has grown up, he has only lost one set in six games and is very made to the New York environment, which at the time, in 2019, was revolted against him, before winning the hearts of the fans by pushing Rafa Nadal, ultimately champion, to the limit and to the fifth set. “I have the experience of two Slams finals, which can help me. It doesn’t mean it does, but it can. The only thing I can assure you is that all that I have left, I’m going to get it out this Sunday. “, concluded the Muscovite, who knows what it is to beat Djokovic, because he has done it three times, although never in the highest category of tournaments. “In Melbourne he beat me tactically, because he played differently than the games he did before, and I wasn’t ready for that. Now I am, ”he added.
Experience and eloquence
The one from Belgrade has the advantage of his enormous experience. He has overtaken Federer in Grand Slam finals (31), with a “formula” that eloquently explains: “Over the years I have developed one that works for me. There are many factors. There is not a secret potion or a single thing that stands out to say, ‘This is the secret of success’. It is a combination. Tennis is a very beautiful sport, but very demanding, and you have to have a balance of body and mind to compete for the biggest trophies ”. This Sunday you will have to put it into practice.
Results, table and schedules.