Less than two months after their thrilling fight in the Wimbledon championship match, Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic will attempt to set up another much-anticipated meeting in a Grand Slam by making it all the way to the U.S. Open final on Friday.
The 20-year-old defending champion Alcaraz said it would be “great” to face three-time U.S. Open victor Djokovic in the championship match after winning his second major at the All England Club in July.
The top-seeded Spaniard will first face Daniil Medvedev, another former New York winner who is also vying for his second championship at Flushing Meadows.
Although we both have really difficult semifinal matches, Alcaraz stated it would be fantastic to face Novak in a final in New York. But we’re both hunting for that possible conclusion.
“Last year, I faced my first Grand Slam semifinal opponent. I’m now dealing with my fourth. I believe I am a completely different player now. I’ve grown older. I can handle the pressure better.
In their two most recent confrontations this year, Alcaraz defeated Medvedev in straight sets in the Wimbledon semifinals and the Indian Wells championship match.
Alcaraz said, “In the past games I played against Daniil, I played a tactical game brilliantly. “I believe my strategy works well against a challenger like Daniil.”
The third-ranked player in the world, 27-year-old Medvedev, gave his quarterfinal performance against fellow countryman Andrey Rublev a perfect score of 10. Still, he added that to beat Alcaraz and advance to his fifth major final, he would need to perform at a better level.
Carlos is really powerful. Thus, it ought to be an 11 out of 10, according to Medvedev. I want to improve because I fight a lot, and I need an 11 out of 10 to defeat him.
After the competition, Djokovic, 36, in good condition, will take Alcaraz’s spot as the world’s top player. He also attempts to break Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam victories in the singles category.
Ben Shelton, a big-hitting 20-year-old who became the youngest American to reach the U.S. Open men’s last four since Michael Chang in 1992, will be his opponent in his 47th major semifinal match.
“Ben has been serving some bombs this tournament,” said Djokovic. “He is an extremely challenging player to play against when his serve is on, particularly because he is also left-handed.
“It seems sense to assume that most fans will favor the home team. On Friday, that’s probably going to be the situation, but I’ll be prepared for it.
Shelton had never left the country before this year, but he made the most of his first trip abroad by making it to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in January.
In just his fifth major tournament appearance, Shelton is now in his first Grand Slam semifinal and is ready to take on Djokovic.
Playing against someone you’ve never played before, in my opinion, is advantageous for my gaming style, he stated. On Friday, I’m going to make an effort to provide some unique and potentially disruptive ideas.