Djokovic can with Berrettini and is on the perfect path to the Grand Slam cycle


Djokovic returns a blow from his rival during the match.

Djokovic returns a blow from his rival during the match.
REUTERS

Serbian Novak Djokovic, first seed, remained unstoppable in the US Open by reaching the men’s semifinals after winning early Thursday by 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 and 6-3 to Italian Matteo Berrettini, sixth favorite. Djokovic’s triumph was the 26th since the Australian Open began and he is two from achieving the great dream of completing the cycle of Grand slam in the same season, something that has not been achieved in world tennis since 1969 when the Australian Rod Laver did.

Djokovic, although he lost the first set again, as happened in the previous match against the young American Jenson Brooksby, then he was a machine to score points without giving the young Italian tennis player any option to get back into the match, which after having lasted one hour and 17 minutes in the first set, it closed after completing three hours and 26 minutes.

The victory of Djokovic, 34, allows him to reach the semifinals of the United States Open for the twelfth time, in 16 appearances he has had, with three titles to his credit. One more victory at the Open would also allow him to reach 21 Grand Slam titles and become the top winner, a position he now shares with the Swiss Roger Federer and the Spanish Rafael Nadal with 20 each.

The game against Berrettini, 25, the fourth they play as professionals, fell again on the side of Djokovic, who this season has become the executioner of the young Italian tennis player who he also eliminated in the quarterfinals of the French Open and beat him in the Wimbledon final. Djokovic finished the game with 44 winners for 28 unforced errors, in addition to placing 12 aces and committing four double faults, while scoring 19 points in 29 raises to the net. Berrettini, who could only overcome Djokovic’s serve in the first set when the only break he got, finished the match with 42 winners and 43 unforced errors, to reach 17 aces and two double faults, which did not help him. get more into the game because the rest of the world’s number one from the second set was sensational. No less than 16 break opportunities created Djojovic with his rest and took advantage of six.

Now Djokovic will have his true litmus test in the semifinal match when he faces the young German on Friday Alexander Zverev, his executioner in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where he won in the semifinals and prevented him from having the possibility of reaching the Golden Slam. Zverev, fourth seed, who has not lost a set so far this tournament, beat South African Lloyd Harris, 46th in the world, in three runs 7-6 (6), 6-4 and 6-4, and reached for the second time the semifinals of the US Open after last year he played the final that he lost to Austrian Dominic Thiem, after having had two sets in his favor. The duel between Djokovic and Zverev will be their tenth as professionals, with an advantage so far of 6-3 for the Serbian tennis player.

The extra-sports note of the game was given with the closure of the roof of the Arthur Ashe Stadium center court while the match was played before the weather forecast of a new storm over the Flushing Meadows area.

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