Daniil Medvedev admits he will have to be the “best-ever version of myself” if he is to deny Novak Djokovic an historic 24th Grand Slam title at the US Open on Sunday.
Medvedev shocked defending champion Carlos Alcaraz on Friday to move into the final, denying tennis fans the blockbuster finish to the Grand Slam season they had been hoping to see.
A final involving former-US Open champions Medvedev and three-time winner Novak Djokovic is one of obvious high quality but not the next chapter in tennis’ hottest rivalry of Djokovic and Alcaraz that has had the sport buzzing.
There will be some juicy subplots to Sunday’s final with Djokovic hunting a fourth title in New York that would see him equal Margaret Court’s record haul of 24 Grand Slams and, along with it, a good measure of revenge on Medvedev.
The last time Djokovic and Medvedev clashed at the US Open was the 2021 final, where the Russian claimed his only major so far and denied the Serb a rare calendar Grand Slam.
“The challenge is you are playing a guy who has won 23 Grand Slams and I have only one,” said Medvedev, who also reached the 2019 final losing to Rafael Nadal and will be appearing in his third US Open final in five years and his fifth Grand Slam title match in all.
“When I beat him here I managed to play better than myself and I need to do it again there is no other way.”
The third seed added: “Novak is going to be his best version on Sunday, and I have to be the best-ever version of myself if I want to try to beat him.”
Djokovic, meanwhile, has an incredible record of 26 wins and one loss in Grand Slam matches this year with one match left.
He will return to world No 1 on Monday but the 36-year-old says the majors are what keeps him motivated.
“No doubt that the Grand Slams are the biggest goals and objectives that I have. So I set my schedule so that I could perform at my best in these tournaments, and that’s what happened again this year,” said Djokovic.
“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, in this kind of position.
“There is another match left, so of course the conversation will be probably even better if I win the title. But definitely whatever happens, I’m extremely proud and content with what I have achieved this year.”
The US Open on Sky Sports
Tennis is back on Sky, adding to the existing sports portfolio and reaffirming the broadcaster as the home of live sport in the UK & Ireland.
Sky Sports’ new mixed reality studio features multiple custom built LED screens, integrated light ‘sabres’, and an open canopy roof, making the space alive with colour and energy to reflect the vibrancy of the last Grand Slam of the year.
With integrated AR capabilities, a versatile LED floor, and a ‘fourth wall’, the viewer will be transported to the Arthur Ashe Stadium in a 360-degree immersive environment. Our tennis experts will take the viewer into the eyes of the players for expert Hawkeye analysis and insight as the tournament progresses.
The technology involved allows us to add an entire new dimension and will bring customers closer to the action.
Highlights of matches will be available across Sky Sports TV and our social media platforms.
Video highlights will also be available of the Sky Sports website and app, where there will also be a daily live text commentary on the Sky Sports website and app, as well as live scores, reports, analysis and features.