Before Novak Djokovic, it was Serena Williams who was this close to a calendar Grand Slam in 2015 but came up short at the US Open. Now Djokovic is a step closer to history as he heads into the US Open men's singles final against World No 2 Daniil Medvedev. Should he win the contest, he will not only go 28-0 at Grand Slam tournaments but also will claim all four trophies in a single season.
If he does this, then he will become only the third man after Rod Laver and Don Budge.
"I’ll be giving it all I've possibly got in the tank to win this match. I’m focusing on recovery, recalibrating all the systems, basically, for Sunday,” he said after eliminating No. 4 Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in the semifinals.
“I’m not going to waste time or energy on anything that can just be a distraction and deplete me from the vital energy that I need,” he said.
If he manages to win, this will be Djokovic's record-tying 31st Grand Slam final and record-setting ninth at the US Open.
“I know we want to talk about history. I know it’s on the line. I’m aware of it. Of course, I’m aware of it. But I’m just trying to lock into what I know works for me," Djokovic said. "I have my routines. I have my people. I isolate myself. I gather all the necessary energy for the next battle, only the next match, the next match.”
Djokovic's win over Zverev made him 36-10 in five-setters for his career and was his fourth victory in a row — 10th in a Grand Slam match this year — after dropping the opening set.
Now it's Medvedev's turn to deal with that in the fourth No. 1 vs. No. 2 final in New York in the past 25 years — all involving Djokovic.
The match sets up as something of a bookend: It was Medvedev who lost to Djokovic in the Australian Open final seven months ago.
I will “probably be in the history books a little bit somewhere, (for) not letting him do this. But I don’t really care about it. I think it’s more about him, that it affects him,” said Medvedev, who is seeking his first major trophy.
“From one side, for sure he’s going to feel the pressure a little bit about it,” Medvedev said.