Sunday will be a rematch of the 2021 US Open when Daniil Medvedev takes on Novak Djokovic in the final. Medvedev is looking to pick up his second Grand Slam (having won that bout two years ago), while Djokovic is seeking his record 24th.
On Friday, Djokovic eased past surprise semifinalist Ben Shelton in three sets, quite literally hanging up the phone on the 20-year-old American. Medvedev faced a tall task in top seed Carlos Alcaraz, prevailing in four sets inside an energetic Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“I said I needed to play 11 out of 10. I played 12 out of 10, except the third set," Medvedev said on court. "That’s the only way [to beat Alcaraz].”
He knows he needs to bring it again on Sunday, and then some.
“The challenge is that you play a guy who won 23 Grand Slams and I have only one," Medvedev said. "When I beat him here [in the 2021 final], I managed to play better than myself, and I need to do it again. There is no other way.”
Novak Djokovic (UTR Rating 16.42) vs. Daniil Medvedev (16.22)
According to Universal Tennis INSIGHTS, Medvedev is at an odds disadvantage too as Djokovic has a 61% chance of raising the trophy. The 36-year-old Serbian holds the advantage in all UTR Ratings (including hard-court and three-month trending), while Medvedev’s biggest edge is his win over Djokovic back in March.
Djokovic leads in career head-to-head meetings against Medvedev 9-5. Though they haven’t faced off in a major since 2021, they traded meetings this year with Djokovic winning in Adelaide and Medvedev getting revenge in Dubai.
While Medvedev is contesting his fourth-ever major final, Djokovic has won two Grand Slams in 2023 alone (Australian Open and Roland Garros), losing in the Wimbledon final to Alcaraz.
“[I’m] over the moon with the results so far in Grand Slams,” Djokovic said. “Playing in all four finals of all four Slams in a season is amazing. It’s the highest achievement I can think about when I start the season. That’s what I dream about, that’s what I really wanted, that’s where I want to be.”