Djokovic just two wins away from Grand Slam after advancing to US Open semis

Novak Djokovic again fought back from a set down to beat sixth seed Matteo Berrettini 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 and move through to the US Open semi-finals.

The victory means Djokovic is now just two wins away from completing a Grand Slam.

The Serb takes another step up in class in the semi-finals, as he will face fourth seed Alexander Zverev, who last month ended the world number one’s bid for a ‘Golden Slam’ — all four majors and the Olympic gold — by beating him in the Tokyo Games semi-finals.

Zverev advanced in New York with a 7-6 (8/6), 6-3, 6-4 win over unseeded South African Lloyd Harris to extend his winning run to 16 matches.

Djokovic, who had lost the opening set in his previous two matches, was facing Berrettini for just the fourth time on the ATP Tour.

Two of those matches were this year when the stakes were at their highest — the Wimbledon final and French Open quarter-finals — with Djokovic winning both times in four sets.

Berrettini had a third shot at derailing Djokovic’s Grand Slam plans at the US Open, but once again could not seize his chance.

The Italian converted just one of five break opportunities, which came in the first set.

But after making 17 unforced errors in the first set, Djokovic composed himself and made only 11 more during the remainder of the match.

“The best three sets I’ve played in the tournament, for sure,” Djokovic said.

Berrettini said Djokovic again showed he could lift his game when under pressure.

“He has this ability — and probably that’s why he’s the best ever — just to step up his game, his level, all the time,” Berrettini said.

If Djokovic can win his next two matches, he will join Don Budge (1938) and Rod Laver (1962 and 1969) as the only men to claim all four major tennis singles trophies in one season.

Maureen Connolly (1953), Margaret Court (1970) and Steffi Graf (1988) have achieved the feat in the women’s game.

One more major singles title also will break the career mark of 20 Djokovic currently shares with rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

“I’m pumped,” Djokovic said.

“The bigger the challenge, the more glory in overcoming it.”

The other men’s semi-final pits second seed Daniil Medvedev — a two-time major finalist — against the 12th-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime.


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