New York, September 8 (EFE) – Tennis history has reopened its doors for Novak Djokovic. The Serbian genius (No. 2) defeated the young American Ben Shelton (47 years old) this Friday and will compete in the US Open final this Sunday, one step away from tying Margaret Court’s record The legendary record is only one step away.
Djokovic and Serena Williams are two of the greatest tennis players of the Open era, with 23 titles between them, but the player from Belgrade will be looking to go one better at the US Open, challenging the man with 24 Court for the title.
‘Noel’, who met Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz in the last Wimbledon final but missed the 2022 US Open due to not being vaccinated against the coronavirus, will have a new chance to win his own title on his return to New York The 24th crown.
The 36-year-old Djokovic is having a brilliant and impressive moment, so much so that he has already qualified for four finals of the four Grand Slams in 2023 (he has already done so in 2015 and 2021 ), he will regain the title next week. Number one. ATP.
The winner of this year’s Australian Open and French Open, Djokovic will face Russia’s Daniil Medvedev (3) or Alkaraz (1) in the New York final, with whom he will play in 2023 Memorable matchups, such as the aforementioned Wimbledon or the Cincinnati Masters 1,000 final (won by the Serb).
In the semifinals, Djokovic had no chance to surprise the event. The 20-year-old Shelton was overwhelmed and could only resist in the third set.
The victory was undisputed and overwhelming: 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(4) in 2 hours and 40 minutes.
Against Shelton, who reached his first Grand Slam semi-final, Djokovic played his 100th match at the US Open (only three other men have reached that number) with a “big” ( historical record), he participated in his 47th semifinal and advanced to the New York finals for the tenth time (tying Bill Tilden’s mark).
A triple champion at Flushing Fields, Djokovic has not lost in a Grand Slam semifinal since defeating Austria’s Dominic Thiem at the now-distant Roland Garros in 2019.
If all these statistics and precedents weren’t enough to demoralize Shelton, “Noel” has won 30 straight matches (now 31) against American tennis players.
After several days of stiflingly hot and humid weather in New York, the weather changed on Friday when, while still hot, it became cloudy and stormy, leading tournament officials to close the roof of Arthur Ashe Stadium.
However, the real thunder fell to Djokovic on the court.
Djokovic controlled the battle between experience and youth with a surgeon’s firmness and precision from the start, and didn’t let go until he found himself holding the final ticket in his hands.
After dominating the first few games with points and serving (3-2), Djokovic took advantage of several errors by Shelton to break serve to pave the way for the first set.
A left-hander with a powerful serve (this week he hit nearly 240 kilometers an hour), Shelton appears to be a fickle, aggressive tennis player with a bad temper and a willingness to let go of his arms and find The winning goal.
This bold – or rather reckless – strategy paid off in the first set, in which he committed 15 unforced errors (four of which were Djokovic’s) and earned only one 6 winning points (5 in the Balkans).
Djokovic was so confident in his serve and firmly believed that patience and determination were key that he only had to save one break opportunity from Shelton to end the set in 35 minutes.
“Keep fighting,” his father and coach Brian Shelton told Shelton.
But the second round was a replica of the previous round. The young man from Atlanta made many concessions and was full of confidence in the backcourt when facing the invincible Djokovic.
Shelton became increasingly frustrated and rushed with his tennis, committing 12 unforced errors in the second set and watching how Djokovic neutralized one of his main weapons – his serve (the Americans only got 5 “aces” in the entire game).
Like the first set, Djokovic broke his opponent’s serve in the middle of the set, and then broke again in the final stage. It only took 78 minutes to be one set away from the final.
Even more interesting was the third set, where Shelton didn’t crumble after losing serve in the first game and stayed alive with the first break of the afternoon (4-4).
The Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd rallied around their compatriot, who was getting bigger by the minute, and Djokovic was perhaps too relaxed, showing his only doubt of the afternoon.
The dynamic changed so much that Sheldon set a set point for the rest.
But after that period of unexpected turbulence, Djokovic, who wasted match points at 6-5, regained his composure in the tie-break and subdued his opponent (43 unforced errors occurred in the entire game). Locked in the opportunity to advance to the finals.
(c) EFE Agency