Two years ago, Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev met in the US Open final — and Medvedev took the title. It’s his only Grand Slam to date — will he win another one on Sunday? Or will Djokovic capture his 24th major, setting the overall record of the Open era?
Who will win? We asked our experts:
What can Djokovic do to defeat Medvedev?
Alexandra Stevenson: Djokovic just has to be Djokovic. If he brings a high percentage of first serves and a solid baseline game, he beats Medvedev with his agility and over-the-top mental focus. Djokovic’s team will come up with every tactic to beat Medvedev — take a look at previous matchups.
Grand Slam No. 24 is for sure in Djokovic’s head, but this time, he is treating the match with a focus on one thing: Playing his game. His movement, twists and turns should be studied by junior players. His defense is clearly the best in the field.
With the NFL and college football starting, it’s timely to compare Djokovic to a quarterback. He knows the rhythm of the court with his aggressive groundstrokes. Think scrambling Patrick Mahomes. And Djokovic is using the net — something we’ve seen more of in the men’s game in 2023 — a throwback to the Pete Sampras era.
Rennae Stubbs: Use his vast experience in these moments.
Alyssa Roenigk: Djokovic didn’t get the Wimbledon rematch tennis fans wanted, but another shot at Medvedev in the US Open final isn’t a bad consolation. Two years ago, Medvedev stopped Djokovic’s run at the calendar-year Grand Slam. In that match, Djokovic converted only 17% of his break-point opportunities and struggled to return Medvedev’s serve.
Here, his return game has been stellar. He held big-serving Ben Shelton to just five aces and broke him five times in their semifinal, and he’ll need to do the same on Sunday. Djokovic knows he might not have many more chances to add to his 23 major titles.
D’Arcy Maine: After his win Friday over Shelton, Djokovic said he had allowed himself to get “overwhelmed with the occasion and the opportunity” during the 2021 US Open with both the calendar-year Grand Slam and a then-record-breaking 21st major title on the line. Now playing the same opponent that defeated him in that very final, and with another record up for grabs, Djokovic will need to do everything he can to remain focused simply on the match and nothing else.
Having beaten Medvedev in four of their five meetings since that 2021 final, Djokovic knows he has the game and the tactics to beat him, so it might just come…