Novak Djokovic in the final after his victory against Ben Shelton

By Le Figaro with AFP

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Novak Djokovic replays Ben Shelton’s ‘telephone’ celebration after match point. MIKE SEGAR / REUTERS

Winner in three sets against the young American, the Serb will play his 10th final on Sunday at Flushing Meadows.

Novak Djokovic, seeking a 24th Grand Slam title to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record, qualified for his tenth US Open final on Friday by beating American Ben Shelton (47th) 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (7/4).

The 36-year-old Serb, guaranteed to become world N.1 again, will try to win his fourth trophy at Flushing Meadows on Sunday against defending champion Carlos Alcaraz (N.1) or 2021 winner Daniil Medvedev (3rd).

Friday, the roof of the Arthur-Ashe court was closed preventively due to the risk of rain throughout the day and the air conditioning ensured a playable temperature. on the court and during the presentation of the players.

From the outset, Shelton was very aggressive, especially on Djokovic’s second serve balls. But the Serb dominated in the exchange and managed the break to lead 4-2. He confirmed at 5-2 on an ace. Then, after missing four set points on Shelton’s serve, the Serb concluded on his fifth, on his serve. In total in this first set, the American won only five points on Djokovic’s serve, including three in the last game, and lost the only break point he created for himself.

Conquering a 4th title in New York

Djokovic dominated the second set even more clearly by taking his opponent’s serve twice, yet his main weapon, without having to defend a single break point himself. Starting at 2-2, Djokovic won six games in a row to pocket the second set and come away 2-0 in the third.

While Djokovic seemed set to win without further resistance, Shelton nevertheless unbroken and regained his confidence with a few huge forehands and serves (including one at 145 mph, or 233 km / h). The Serb nevertheless served to win at 6-5 but, despite a match point, he allowed Shelton to unbreak by sending a spike into the net. Then he had another little scare in the tie-break where, leading 5/1, he let Shelton come back to 5/4 before concluding. A victory in three sets which was well worth the “telephone” celebration dear to his opponent of the evening in the previous round.

Djokovic thus reached his tenth final in New York where he won three times (2011, 2015 and 2018), equaling Bill Tilden’s record. He also brings his record for Grand Slam finals to 36, now five lengths ahead of Roger Federer. He has also now reached the finals of the four Majors for the third time in the same season (after 2015 and 2021).

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