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Djokovic settling unfinished business


NEW YORK (AFP) — As Novak Djokovic again stands on the verge of history at the US Open, he has a score to settle with Daniil Medvedev after his loss to the Russian in the 2021 final cost him a calendar Grand Slam.

Medvedev defeated Djokovic in straight sets two years ago to prevent the Serbian from becoming the first man to win all four Grand Slams in the same year since Australian great Rod Laver in 1969.

On Sunday, the 36-year-old Djokovic goes in search of a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title against Medvedev, who unseated reigning champion Carlos Alcaraz in a gripping semifinal.

Djokovic will return to world No. 1 next week, but he is wary of being swept up by the significance of the occasion in New York.

“Every time in a Grand Slam final it’s another shot for history, you know, and I’m aware of it, and of course I’m very proud of it,” Djokovic said.

“But again, I don’t have much time nor do I allow myself to reflect on these things or think about the history too much in this sense.”

“Because when I did that in the past, like, ‘21 finals here I was maybe overwhelmed with the occasion and the opportunity and I underperformed.”

“So I don’t want this to happen again.”

Djokovic fell agonizingly short of matching Margaret Court’s all-time mark for most Grand Slam singles titles when he lost to Alcaraz in five sets in the Wimbledon final in July.

That remains his only defeat at the majors since a quarterfinal loss to Rafael Nadal at the 2022 French Open. He is 33-1 at the Slams since then.

Djokovic is the first man in the Open era to play in 10 finals at two different Grand Slams. He has a perfect record at the Australian Open, but New York is the site of some of his biggest disappointments.

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