Novak Djokovic hung up on young American Ben Shelton to reach his 10th US Open final and stay on target for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.
Djokovic, playing in his 100th US Open singles match, has reached all four Grand Slam finals this season for the third time in his career and 36th Grand Slam final overall with a comfortable 6- 3 6-2 7-6 (7-4). ) victory in a patriotic Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“Look, it’s these kinds of matches and occasions that still keep me going, that motivate me to wake up every day and work hard,” Djokovic said.
“The grand slams are the most important, the most important for me. Playing an American player is never easy and I had to hold my nerves. It was anyone’s game at the end of the third set. Happy I’m really into this win now.”
Already assured of a return to the world’s top rankings when they update after the tournament, Djokovic will continue his quest for his 24th Grand Slam title to match Margaret Court’s all-time singles record on Sunday.
How Djokovic made it to the US Open final…
A poor service game saw Shelton gift Djokovic a break in the first set with three unforced errors including a poor drop shot.
The youngster saved four set points on his own serve and had a break-back point in the next but was unable to get it as Djokovic got the first set on the board in 34 minutes.
Shelton flummoxed the New York opponents with his big serve but the 36-year-old Djokovic was able to use his experience to neutralize the young American.
A double-fault gave Djokovic another break in the second as Shelton’s unforced errors really started to pile up; by the end of the second set he had made 27 to Djokovic’s nine.
Playing in just her seventh US Open singles match, Shelton gave New York something to welcome in the third when she twice earned breaks and had a set point on the Djokovic serve.
It was quickly swept away, however, and Djokovic won the tie-break to book a 36th Grand Slam final – an incredible half of the majors he has reached.
Djokovic will play the winner of Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev will play for the right to meet the Serb in Sunday’s final.
“I expect the toughest match of the tournament regardless of who goes through the net,” Djokovic said.
“I’ve come a long way but I still feel like I have something left in my legs. I still feel like I have something left to give to the sport.”
Shelton vs. Djokovic: Tale of the Tape
|60%||1st serve win percentage||84%|
|47%||2nd serve win percentage||34%|
|21/39||Net points won||23/26|
|2/6||Break points won||5/14|
|89||Total points won||112|
Henman: Djokovic took advantage of Shelton’s inconsistency
“It’s a huge number there of first serve wins, 84 per cent for Djokovic but when you limit Ben Shelton’s firepower there to only 60 per cent of first serve points won – that highlights how good a returner Djokovic,” Tim Henman told Sky Sports Tennis.
“His unforced error count is much lower. It’s inevitable that Shelton has to take more risks and that inconsistency is where Djokovic is able to capitalize on key moments.”
Martina Navratilova considers Djokovic to have the “perfect formula”, saying: “He has always been professional in his approach to the game from when he was eight years old and that has not changed. the consistency he brings to the game is unmatched.
“That’s how he plays the game too, very, very consistently.
“Novak perfects peaking at the right time. He knows what works for him, what he needs to do.”
The US Open on Sky Sports
Tennis returns to Sky, adding to the existing sports portfolio and reaffirming the broadcaster as the home of live sport in the UK and Ireland.
Sky Sports’ new mixed reality studio features several custom built LED screens, integrated light ‘sabres’, and an open canopy roof, making the space come alive with color and energy to reflect the excitement of the last Grand Slam in year.
With integrated AR capabilities, a versatile LED floor, and a ‘fourth wall’, the viewer will be transported to Arthur Ashe Stadium in a 360-degree immersive environment. Our tennis experts will take the viewer through the eyes of the players for expert Hawkeye analysis and insight as the tournament unfolds.
The technology involved allows us to add a whole new dimension and bring customers closer to the action.
Highlights of the matches will be available on Sky Sports TV and our social media platforms.
Video highlights are also available on the Sky Sports website and app, where there is also a daily live text commentary on the Sky Sports website and app, as well as live scores, reports, analysis and features.
Stream the US Open on Sky Sports NOW. Cancel anytime.