Novak Djokovic on the brink of history in US Open final

Serbian great sets up title clash with Daniil Medvedev after commanding win over Ben Shelton

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Novak Djokovic moved one step closer to a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam title as he defeated American Ben Shelton to reach his 10th US Open final.

The Serbian great used all his experience to end the challenge of his 20-year-old opponent 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(4) at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Shelton had stunned opponents in New York with his big serve but the 36-year-old Djokovic has seen it all and was able to thwart a third-set surge from the young American.

Djokovic is looking to become the oldest men's champion in New York in the Open era, which would also see him match Margaret Court's all-time mark for most major singles titles, with the last of his three US Open titles in 2018.

Djokovic has reached the final at all four majors in the same year for the third time. He will try to claim three Grand Slams in the same season for the fourth time in his career.

"These are the kind of matches and occasions that I still thrive on, that still get me going," Djokovic said on court. "Trying to work as hard as the young guys."

However, the Serbian star said he will put the Grand Slam landmark out of his mind as he prepares to face old foe Daniil Medvedev in the final, a rematch with the Russian who denied him a rare calendar Grand Slam two years ago.

"[I don't] think about the history too much in this sense, you know, because when I did that in the past, like, '21 finals here I was maybe overwhelmed with the occasion and the opportunity and I underperformed," said Djokovic.

"So I don't want this to happen again, and I'll try to, you know, just focus on what needs to be done and tactically prepare myself for that match."

His opponent in the final, Medvedev, will be high on confidence as he dug deep to get past defending champion and top seed Carlos Alcaraz in their semi-final 7-6 (3), 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

Alcaraz didn't face a single break point in the first set, but Medvedev dominated the second, dropping just two points on serve and breaking the top seed twice.

Alcaraz, 20, kept his hopes alive as a break in the fourth game of the third set extended the match to a fourth set.

He saw three break points come and go at 1-1 before Medvedev administered the fatal blow with a superb backhand return, breaking for a 4-2 lead.

Medvedev won his lone major championship at Flushing Meadows in 2021 by defeating Djokovic in that year's title match. That prevented Djokovic from completing what would have been the first calendar-year Grand Slam in men's tennis since 1969.

He will now have to raise his game once again to defeat Djokovic.

"Novak is going to be his best version on Sunday, and I have to be the best-ever version of myself if I want to try to beat him," he said.

"Novak, when he loses, he's never the same after. It's just a different mentality. So, I have to use it knowing that he's going to be 10 times better than he was that day. And I have to be, if I want to still beat him, 10 times better than I was that day."

Updated: September 09, 2023, 8:52 AM