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Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev Tips - Djokovic expected to win 3-2
- US Open men's singles final will take place at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday (21:00 BST)
- Djokovic leads the head-to-head series 5-3
- Djokovic beat Medvedev in their last meeting at the Australian Open back in February
- Djokovic is aiming to win all four Grand Slams in a year
- Djokovic won the US Open in 2011, 2015 and 2018
- Medvedev is aiming to win his first ever Grand Slam title
- Medvedev reached the US Open final in 2019
Novak Djokovic is aiming to make history on Sunday. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
While the women’s final is contested by players ranked 73rd and 150th in the world, the 2021 US Open men’s decider has come to the top two seeds.
It shapes as an absolute classic.
The 34-year-old Novak Djokovic is chasing history. A 21st Grand Slam triumph will give him the all-time record outright. Perhaps even more importantly, he is aiming to complete the first men’s Calendar Slam since 1968.
Standing in the way of these indelible achievements is world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev. The 25-year-old lines up in his third Grand Slam final, his second and the US Open and his second against Djokovic in 2021.
Medvedev lost an epic five-set 2019 US Open final to Rafael Nadal – after previously never making it past the fourth round of a major. Since then he has developed into one of the dominant players on the ATP Tour. A US Open semi-finalist last year, Medvedev lost this year’s Australian Open final to Djokovic in straight sets.
Medvedev has been the form player of the men’s draw, dropping just one set – to Botic van de Zanschulp in the quarters. Prior to that, Richard Gasquet, Dominik Koepfer, Pablo Andujar and Dan Evans took no more than 10 games off the towering Russian. He then dismantled fellow big-serving 12th seed Felix Aguer-Aliassime 6-4 7-5 6-2 in the semis.
Djokovic has tread a decidedly tougher path to a 31st Grand Slam final. His only straight-sets victory was over Tallon Griekspoor in the second round. Since then, he lost the first set in four consecutive matches against Kei Nishikori, Jenson Brooksby, sixth seed Matteo Berretini and fourth seed Alexander Zverev before clawing back.
But the potential G.O.A.T.’s incomparable poise and fighting qualities have come to the fore on each occasion. Djokovic dug especially deep to outlast a gallant Zverev 4-6 6-2 6-4 4-6 6-2. Guts and class personified, standing tall in the big moments.
The pair has met eight times, with Djokovic holding a 5-3 advantage. Djokovic won both previous Grand Slam encounters – at the Australian Open in 2019 (fourth round) and 2021 (final). But Medvedev’s three victories over the world No.1 came in their last five clashes: the 2019 Monte Carlo Masters quarters, the 2019 Cincinnati Masters semis and the 2020 ATP Finals round-robin.
Djokovic is 20-10 in Grand Slam finals but has become near unbeatable in recent years. He was won 14 of his last 17 major finals, including eight of nine since 2018 (the only loss was to Nadal at last year’s French Open). He’s a three-time US Open champ, prevailing in 2011, 2015 and 2018.
It’s an imposing record that sees Djokovic installed as a $1.36 favourite. If any current player has the arsenal to take down the legend, it’s Medvedev. Fatigue could also be a factor with Djokovic playing 24 sets to Medvedev’s 19 – including a far more gruelling semi.
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