Nole and the NoleFam are now within one of a calendar slam. There were nerves again but it is admirable how he just gets on with it and raises his level enough to win matches, especially matches like these. Let us not forget Sascha is the most in-form player on tour over the last month, he even took the Golden Slam away from Djokovic in Tokyo. Zverev took advantage of Djokovic being a bit sluggish in the opener and fully deserved to take it with big serving and big groundstrokes. It has become a trademark of Djokovic in New York this year to put himself in a spot of bother before regrouping and he played some good tennis to take a two sets to one lead. Zverev wouldn’t go away as easy as some before him though and it was the German who raised his level to take this to a decider. Once there the two players bought completely different levels, with the Serbian unsurprisingly finding his peak form when it mattered most in the 4/6 6/2 6/4 4/6 6/2 victory. I found his quotes of how his mindest will be tomorrow fascinating, he said “I will treat it as it is my last match since it’s perhaps the most important match in my career.” You do feel that Medvedev will have chances on Sunday but how many and at which points in the match will obviously be key. Love him or loathe him, you cannot take away what Djokovic has done this year in particular but let us be honest this isn’t the only season where he has excelled, far from it. If 20 Slams wasn’t proof enough.
Medvedev reached the final in slightly easier circumstances against Felix Auger-Aliassime. Having won the opener he did have a few problems in the second when FAA started to serve and volley (something that is worth keeping an eye on in the future). The Canadian actually had a couple of set points but Medvedev kept grinding away from the baseline and making it hard for him. Breaking back from that point also broke FAA’s heart and he only won two more games in the 6/4 7/5 6/2 scoreline. The Russian was asked about the final in Australia against Djokovic and he says he has learnt from it. “Definitely tactically, because he was definitely playing differently to the matches he played before me. I was not ready for it but now I am. It will be more interesting vs him in terms of tactically what I prepare. I feel like in Australia I didn’t leave my heart on the court. There was something not turning up. This is what I’m going to try to do on Arthur Ashe. No matter the score, I will turn up the heat and do even more than I did in Melbourne.” That is good fighting talk, let us see if he can execute it. We thought it would be a screamer in Melbourne and it wasn’t. Maybe this time it will be. Most of us hope so. Nole is currently 2/5 (1.4) with the bookies.
Al Davies (Andy Del Potro).