The Chronicle

History motivates Djokovic


NOVAK Djokovic, making his case to be considered the greatest player in tennis history, was excited by his chance to claim the first calendar-year men’s singles Grand Slam since 1969 in the US Open final.

The 34-year-old Serbian world No.1 was facing Russia’s second-ranked Daniil Medvedev in New York on Monday morning in the biggest match of a career that has brought him 20 slam trophies.

“I’m going to treat this match as it’s my last one because it’s arguably the most important one of my career,” Djokovic said.

“It’s going to be a battle against another guy who has been in tremendous form ... I know what’s expecting me.”

Djokovic (pictured) was trying to complete the first sweep of the US, Australian and French Open and Wimbledon titles in the same year since Aussie great Rod Laver managed the feat 52 years ago.

“Excitement is there,” Djokovic said.

“Motivation is there, without a doubt. Probably more than ever. But I have one more to go.”

Laver, 83, was expected to be in the stands to see if Djokovic could finish the fourth Grand Slam in men’s history after American Don Budge in 1938 and Laver in 1962 and 1969.

Medvedev was hoping the situation would be to his advantage.

“For sure he’s going to feel the pressure a little bit about it,” Medvedev said.

“(But) from the other side, that’s what going to make him be even better in tough moments.”

The last singles Grand Slam overall was won by Steffi Graf in 1988.

Djokovic was also chasing his fourth US Open title after wins in 2011, 2015 and 2018.

Victory would give him 21 major titles and for the first time put him atop the all-time grand slam titles chase, moving one ahead of the record mark he shares with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic, 20-10 in grand slam finals, led the 25-year-old Medvedev 5-3 in their career rivalry going into the decider.

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