NEW YORK (AFP) – One match from finishing the first calendar-year men’s singles Grand Slam in 52 years, Novak Djokovic isn’t getting ahead of himself by talking about it.
Djokovic defeated Tokyo Olympic champion Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 on Friday to reach the US Open final, where he will face Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev with tennis history at stake.
”I know everybody wants to talk about history,” Djokovic said. ”I’m just trying to lock into what I know works for me.”
World number one Djokovic will try to complete the first calendar Slam since Rod Laver in 1969 and only the fourth ever after Laver in 1962 and Don Budge in 1938.
Australian legend Laver, 83, was in the stands to watch Djokovic continue his quest for history.
Medvedev is hoping the third time is charmed when he plays in Sunday’s US Open final.
The 25-year-old Russian advanced to his second final on the New York hardcourts in three years by defeating Canadian 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2.
Medvedev dropped the 2019 US Open final to Rafael Nadal and lost February’s Australian Open final to Djokovic .
”The more you lose something, the more you want to win it, the more you want to gain it and take it,” Medvedev said.
But the task remains unfinished, so talking seems premature to Djokovic.
”Why should I be happy? The job is not done,” he said. ”That’s kind of the attitude I have.”
The 34-year-old Serbian star seeks his fourth US Open title and a 21st career Grand Slam trophy, which would give him the men’s all-time lead by one over Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, both absent with injuries.
Djokovic is keeping his usual routine between matches.
”I’m focusing on recovery, calibrating all the systems, getting that vital energy,” he said.
Djokovic, who would be the oldest US Open champion since Ken Rosewall at 35 in 1970, also takes pride in honing his game to perfection.