For a while, we thought that a near-stranger was going to put down the dreams of Novak Djokovic on Monday night at the US Open. But after completely missing his start to the match, the world number 1 took the upper hand on
American Jenson Brooksby, 20 years old and 99th at ATP (1-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2).
The 34-year-old Serb now has a quarterfinal meeting in New York with Marco Berrettini (8th), whom he nicknamed “the hammer of tennis” for his forehand and serve power. Djokovic remains on two victories against the Italian this year in the Grand Slams, each time in four sets, in the Roland Garros quarter-finals and in the Wimbledon final in July.
– US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 7, 2021
He is three wins away from a historic Grand Slam calendar, which has not happened since Rod Laver in 1969. If he does, “Nole” will bring his record for Major wins to 21, one more than Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, both absent in New York due to injuries.
The scarecrow Zverev
Asked to look back, Djokovic replied that “it is difficult to think about all this, while you are still moving forward”. A march to glory strewn with pitfalls, while the Serbian had already dropped a set before Monday against the young Dane Holger Rune and the Japanese Kei Nishikori. If he crosses the obstacle Berrettini, he could find Alexander Zverev in the semifinals.
The German, quarterback against South African Lloyd Harris, walks on the water this summer, including a gold medal at the Olympics. In Tokyo, the 4th player in the world had just tamed “Djoko” in the semifinals, shattering the latter’s dream of “Golden Slam” (calendar Grand Slam + Olympic title). Whatever happens between now and Sunday in New York, Steffi Graf will remain the only one in history to have touched the Grail of tennis, in 1988.