US Open 2021: Novak Djokovic to face Alexander Zverev in semi-final

If Novak Djokovic wins the US Open, he will escape Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s 20 Grand Slam titles with his 21st major victory.
Place: Flushing Meadows, New York Dated: August 30-September 12
Blanket: Daily radio commentary on the BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra / BBC Sport website and app, with a selection of live text commentary and match reports on the website and app

Novak Djokovic will continue his attempt to win all four Grand Slam tournaments in the same year against Olympic champion Alexander Zverev in Friday’s US Open semi-final.

The world number one is out of a set to beat Italy’s Matteo Berrettini 5-7 6-2 6-2 6-3 in the last eight.

Zverev, who beat Djokovic in the July Olympic semi-finals, qualified in New York with a victory over Lloyd Harris.

“I feel like the first player to beat [Djokovic] in a really big game this year, “Zverev said from the field.

“I mean, it’s the biggest tournament in the world. It’s the Olympics. Winning there against the world number one, especially since I was out of a set and a break. , being sort of out of the game and then coming back, it was different than the other games, the emotions were different.

“This year it seems like no one can beat him in a big game; no one can beat him in a Grand Slam.”

The first of the US Open men’s semi-finals kicks off Friday at 8:00 p.m. BST, with the second set to start four hours later.

World number four Zverev, 24, has beaten South Africa Lloyd 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 6-4 and is aiming for a first Grand Slam title, after finishing second at the 2020 US Open .

Djokovic said of his opponent in the semi-finals: “He’s in great form, he’s won a lot. He’s made it through to the semi-finals comfortably here.

“I know his game well – we played in Tokyo. He’s one of the best players in the world, but the bigger the challenge, the more glory there is to overcome.”

Djokovic reduces mistakes to win

Djokovic, 34, is just two wins away from adding the US Open title to those won at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon earlier this year.

The 20-time Serbian Grand Slam champion, who also beat Berrettini in the Wimbledon final, said after losing the opening set to the Italian that he went on to produce “the best three sets I’ve played until now”.

Berrettini’s impressive serve helped him get a break in the first set, but he wasted three set points before Djokovic hit a wide forehand to lose the opener.

From there, the world number one produced just 11 unforced errors over the next three sets as he closed the match in dominant style.

If he reaches and wins Sunday’s final, Djokovic will be the first man to win all four majors in the same calendar year since Rod Laver in 1969.

Frustrations get messy

Court being cleaned up after Lloyd Harris spilled his drink
Alexander Zverev and Lloyd Harris both picked up towels and helped clean up the pitch after spilling a drink

There were some extraordinary scenes on Arthur Ashe earlier Wednesday when Harris showed his frustrations at the end of the first set tie-break, throwing a drink bottle across the pitch.

Its contents spilled and both players, along with the referee and a number of ball collectors, had to collect towels to clean it up.

At one point, Zverev and Harris were chatting while wiping up the mess, before the South African poured water over the area to keep it from getting sticky.

He wasn’t the only one losing his temper – Zverev, as he led 5-3 in the first set, planted his racket in the ground after missing a forehand.

But the German was in great shape on serve, even producing an ace on a second serve halfway through the second set, and closed the game in two hours and six minutes.

Zverev slams his racket
Zverev showed his frustration by slamming his racket on the pitch
Lloyd Harris cleans
Harris cleans up his own mess after spilling a glass on the pitch

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