US OPEN 2023. By Gabriel Matteazzi
The men’s semifinals began with the showdown between Novak Djokovic (No. 2) and Ben Shelton (No. 47), the tournament’s great revelation, with a victory for the Serbian player by 6-3, 6-2, and 7-6 (7-4). Shelton, the explosive and charismatic 20-year-old tennis player from Atlanta, couldn’t match the European’s game solidity. The Belgrade star, 36 years old, has reached all three major finals played this year, with victories at the Australian Open and Roland Garros and a bitter defeat at Wimbledon against Alcaraz.
«I have set internal goals, I have been blessed to play this sport for so long, and I feel that my legs can still give more, and I can give more to this sport,» he said. «It will be the toughest match of the tournament; I have played against them before, they are great players. Daniil beat me here 2 years ago; he is possibly the most consistent player in recent years. And what Carlos has achieved at just 20 years old is fantastic; he is an amazing player and is very good for this sport. It will be a very fun match for the fans to watch.»
Nole maintained control of the game almost throughout the match and saved a set point against him in the third set (4-5) before closing it with suspense and advancing to the final of the last Grand Slam of the season, where he will face the winner of the match to be held in the last session between Spanish Carlos Alcaraz and Russian Daniil Medvedev at Flushing Meadows.
With this victory, Djokovic has won 22 of his 23 semifinal matches in Grand Slams since 2015 and will now play the 36th major final of his career.
«Every time I step on the court at this age, at this stage of my life, it’s a great opportunity,» the 36-year-old Belgrade star recalled at that moment. «I don’t know how many more chances I’ll have, so I try to enjoy it as much as I can.»
Photo Gabreil Matteazzi New York