Thursday, December 2

Djokovic against Zverev: more than a rematch a place in history is played

German Alexander Zverev during the quarterfinal match against South African Lloyd Harris.

Photo: Justin Lane / EPA / EFE

FLUSHING MEADOWS.- Alexander Zverev and Novak Djokovic They will play this Friday, confirming the forecast that was drawn after the tournament’s main draw draw, that they would meet in the semifinal of the US Open, an expected duel that has many historical implications for both, but more for the world number 1 than dreams of completing the Grand Slam of the season here.

About the game he played against Djokovic he said: “Against him, you prepare to play the best game you can.”

Zverev, who is 3-6 against the Serb, added. “You have to be perfect, otherwise you won’t win. Most of the time, you can’t be perfect. That’s why most of the time people lose to him. Against him, you have to win the match yourself. You have to be the one who is dominating the points. You have to do it with very few unforced errors. “

US Open
“Against Djokovic you have to be perfect,” said Zverev.

While Germany’s Zverev won his 16th consecutive game by eliminating the tournament’s fourth seed, South African Lloyd Harris, 7-6, 6-3, 6-4, the Serbian completed his 26th consecutive Grand Slam victory by defeating Italian Matteo Berrettini 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3, in two matches played this Wednesday at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The smell of revenge

Zeverev, 24, and current world number 4, will try to stop Djokovic, a wide favorite of the tournament, but whom he defeated at the Tokyo Olympics, where he won the gold medal. If he beat the Serbian, Zverev would become the second tennis player to win Olympic gold and the US Open in the same season. Britain’s Andy Murray achieved both in 2012. The German defeated Djokovic in the Olympic semi-finals 1-6, 6-3, 6-1.

It is precisely this last victory for Zverez against Djokovic that elevates the duel they will have on Friday to a special character. For Belgrade it will have a flavor of revenge, because first, that defeat meant that he lost the opportunity to achieve Olympic gold for the first time – a record that is missing from his extensive record and, second, that he would have reached the so-called Grand Slam of Gold, if he also manages to raise the title of champion of the US Open, in the final next Sunday.

Zverez, a finalist of the 2020 US Open, is also eager to play the tournament final again and this time he will be victorious and thus obtain his first Grand Slam title. The German who has 17 titles in his career, fell in last year’s final to Austrian Dominic Thiem.

The German who in the final of last year squandered a 2-0 lead, then gave up the match in the fifth set against the Austrian 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6), says he’s a different player after winning gold in Tokyo.

Many things are different for Zverev in the 2021 edition of the US Open, the main one, this year it is played with the public. In this regard he commented.

“I played the final here last year in front of exactly six people. That was a little weird to me, but it’s amazing to have people back in New York. I think the energy of the stadium, the energy of the people, we miss for more than a year all over the world, ”said Zverev.

Meanwhile, last year, Djokovic was disqualified after hitting a linesman with a ball after Spaniard Pablo Carreño Busta had broken his serve with the first set at 6-5, during the round of 16 match. final. Likewise, the Serbian was the favorite of the tournament in the absence of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

But that’s history. Now Djokovic is only two games away from achieving his 21st major tournament title and with it, surpassing Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who would remain with 20. In addition, and the most important record, if he is crowned on Sunday at Flushing Meadows , would complete the Big 4 in the same year and match the mark set in 1969 by Australian Rod Laver, the only player to achieve this feat in the Open era.

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