World no. 1 Novak Djokovic will seek the 21st Major crown at the US Open in his first quest to pass Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the first time. The 34-year-old Serb is a man on the mission in New York, trying to become the first player since Rod Laver in 1969 with a calendar Grand Slam. Novak has been a player to beat at Majors in 2021, passing all the obstacles to claim three titles and join Federer and Nadal on the magical number of 20. Djokovic’s main rivals in New York will be Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev, all seeking the first Major crown. This summer, Medvedev has played well on hard courts, winning the fourth Masters 1000 crown in Toronto and reaching the semi-final in Cincinnati. The Russian played the US Open final two years ago, losing to Rafael Nadal in epic five sets and hoping for another deep run in the following two weeks.
Daniil stated that Novak wants to conquer 45 Major titles and play until he is 55, with the young guns trying to spoil his party and take the US Open crown away from him. Novak’s first Major of the season came against Medvedev in Melbourne in February, beating the Russian 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and 53 minutes for his 18th Major title. Novak lost serve twice and delivered seven breaks from 11 chances, staying focused and taming his rival’s strokes nicely to control the rallies and write the record books. Daniil came back from 3-0 down in the opening set before Novak won it 7-5 with a late break.
Daniil Medvedev praised Novak Djokovic ahead of the US Open.
The Serb seized three breaks in set number two thanks to 45% of the return points won, taming Daniil’s serve with mighty efficiency and taking the set 6-2 for another massive step towards the finish line and the title. Djokovic survived break chances in the third set’s opening game and grabbed a break in the next one following Medvedev’s volley error. The Serb cemented the lead with a service winner in game three and held after Daniil’s wild forehand in game five for 4-1. From 15-30, Djokovic earned three straight points in game seven to keep Medvedev away from break opportunities and sealed the deal with another break at 5-2. Daniil and Novak are projected to face in the US Open final if they both beat six rivals.
“I’m sure Novak wants 45 Major and to play until 55. But we are here to try to keep up his level and to beat him. We are here to not let him win the US Open. But we all know Novak is a very strong player, one of the best in history. That’s why he is a big favorite at any tournament he enters.” Daniil Medvedev said.