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Novak Djokovic cruised through to the US Open final after a dominant 6-3 6-2 7-6 (7-4) win against American youngster Ben Shelton.
Shelton, playing in his first ever grand slam semifinal, came out all guns blazing but was unable to lay much of a glove on the ever-impressive Djokovic.
The world No. 2 was at his imperious best during the clash and controlled proceedings against Shelton from start to finish.
“These are the kinds of matches and occasions that I still thrive on and get me going and inspire me every day to try and work as hard as the young guys,” Djokovic said during his on-court interview after the win.
“The grand slams are the ones that motivate me the most to play my best tennis, perform my best tennis.”
The Serbian’s first break came in the sixth game of the match and after going up 4-2 in the first set, Djokovic never looked back – going on to win the first set 6-3.
This momentum carried into the next set where Djokovic raced on to claim the second set 6-2 to grab a stranglehold on the encounter inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Being two sets down against Djokovic is a place where no tennis player wants to be and, despite being behind, Shelton will be proud of his efforts in the final set.
The world No. 47 toiled away, making it difficult for Djokovic to advance to the final, and he was even able to break the serve of the 23-time grand slam winner twice during the final frame – forcing a tiebreak.
Djokovic eventually took the third set in the tiebreak and celebrated by imitating his opponent’s celebration – which involves miming holding a phone to his ear and then hanging it up – something that has become a trademark of Shelton’s victories during his US Open run.
The win also means that the Serbian now has a 30-1 record against players playing in their home slam after knocking out the home crowd favorite Shelton.
“I knew prior to the quarterfinals that I would play an American player and that is never easy. To control the nerves and be composed in the moments that matter,” Djokovic added.
“Today things were going really smoothly for me and then he broke back and it was anyone’s game at the end of the third set. This is the kind of atmosphere we all like to play in, so I am really, really pleased with this win today.”
At 20 years old, there will likely be plenty of opportunities for the big serving youngster to go big in future tournaments and, based on this year’s US Open, he has more than enough skill to do so.
For Djokvoic, he has now made it to a record-equaling 10th US Open final and he will be looking to win his fourth title at Flushing Meadows in Sunday’s final.
He also has the chance to make history and level Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam singles titles.
The 36-year-old will play the final on Arthur Ashe Stadium against the winner of the semifinal between Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev who play later on Friday.