Serena Williams, the 23-time Grand Slam champion, is set to take on a new opponent in the US Open Men’s Final. The 32-year-old American will take on Japan’s Kei Nishikori for the title.
The us open 2021 men’s final time is the match that will take place on September 10th, 2019.
3:25 p.m. Eastern
Novak Djokovic, the world’s No. 1 men’s tennis player, has a chance to break a tie with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most major championships in men’s tennis history by completing the calendar-year Grand Slam.
Daniil Medvedev has a chance to derail Djokovic’s quest to become the first man to win all four majors in the same year: the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open.
Who will win the US Open men’s final on Sunday? Our experts lay down the significance of Djokovic’s run, what makes him so successful at 34, and what Medvedev, 25, must do to pull off the shock.
Djokovic is thinking about the past and admits that he has stumbled at times throughout the competition, particularly in the opening set. What vulnerabilities or areas of opportunity may Medvedev be able to exploit?
Brad Gilbert: I’m going to give you a yellow card for asking such a dumb question. He’s never faltered, and his game has no flaws other than his overhead. For even implying that he swayed, it’s a red-card question. It’s called a best-of-five for a reason, and he knows how to handle it. There is nothing Medvedev can exploit, but if he is to have a chance, he must win the opening set and serve very well.
Connelly, Bill: Djokovic’s comeback pitted him against Alexander Zverev in the semis, but his greatest problem has been obvious: he’s been throwing haymakers out of the gate. In this event, he has lost six sets, including the opening set in four consecutive matches. He was too dominating against Kei Nishikori, Jenson Brooksby, and Matteo Berrettini from the second set on, but losing the first set against Zverev might have cost him dearly if he hadn’t eked out a huge, tight third set. If he wins the first set, Medvedev is more than capable of winning two of the remaining four sets.
Alexandra Stevenson: Thanks, Alexandra. First. I believe Djokovic waffles in the first set because he’s assessing his opponent’s performance — the ball’s struck, the court’s rhythm. Losing the first set is undoubtedly a chance for Medvedev. Keep an eye out for Djokovic’s serve action. Does he seem to be a powerful individual? When he’s driven back, he may be caught with his shot in the net if he doesn’t go through the forehand.
What is Medvedev’s vulnerability that he can exploit? Examine Djokovic’s consistency throughout the board. Each and every motif. Each and every ball. Dismantle him. Can Medvedev persuade Djokovic to consider his forehand? Djokovic has shown that his opponents’ physical strength on the court deteriorates with time. Zverev, for example.
Djokovic isn’t untouchable, says Rennae Stubbs. I believe Medvedev took comfort in the fact that Djokovic has showed weakness during the match, but he also knows that no one is as good as Djokovic over five sets. If he gains a lead, his whole emphasis will be on not letting up.
Aishwarya Kumar: Zverev put Djokovic to the test in the semifinals, running him all over the court, especially in the third and fourth sets. The encounter featured among of the tournament’s longest rallies, and Djokovic, who seldom seems weary, exhibited symptoms of tiredness. Medvedev may be able to take a set and put some pressure on the world No. 1 if he can move him about the court and push him to maintain his serve — and do it consistently.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Djokovic stepped up his game when he needed it, particularly in the fifth set against Zverev. However, he has provided chances for his opponents. So far, no one has been able to take advantage of the situation. This is something Medvedev must absorb from Djokovic. Against Djokovic, he’ll have to do more than simply reclaim his title. He’ll have to take the initiative. He must also hope that the strain of attempting to create history will wear Djokovic down as well.
D’Arcy Maine: Taking advantage of Djokovic’s recent tendency of poor beginnings and snatching the opening set is a must. Djokovic has also shown to be tough, if not impossible, to defeat. Medvedev, on the other hand, may draw inspiration from their match in the 2020 ATP Finals. He overcame the world No. 1 with a stunning defensive performance and powerful serving in that set, effectively defeating Djokovic at his own game. This time, the stakes are considerably greater, and the match is a best-of-five, but Medvedev had an answer for everything Djokovic attempted that day. Trying to duplicate that strategy might be his best bet.
Medvedev has snuck into the final virtually unnoticed. What factors have contributed to his success?
Gilbert: He’s been serving well throughout the tournament, dropping just one set. Medvedev will need to get off to a quick start.
Connelly: He’s been serving nonstop. This year, his serve has improved overall, and his statistics in the latter rounds have been incredible. Medvedev has won at least 80% of his first-serve points in five of his six matches this year — to put that in perspective, John Isner is only at 79 percent for the year, and Reilly Opelka is at 77 percent — and he’s landed a particularly high percentage of his first serves in the last three rounds. Obviously, against Djokovic, those statistics will be put to the ultimate test: In their Australian Open final encounter, Medvedev won just 69 percent of his first-serve points, but his service game has improved considerably since Melbourne, thanks to his increased desire to get to the net.
Stevenson: He’s on a mission. People may criticize Medvedev’s starting position, which is at the back of the court, but have a look at where he finishes up. He’s made it to the final because of his coverage of the court. He’ll be a pitcher attempting to break up a no-hitter, but this time it’ll be the calendar-year Grand Slam.
Stubbs: Having faith in himself and his ability to play on a hard surface. I believe he now thinks he belongs in the final because his game adapts so well to this surface.
Kumar: While all eyes were on Djokovic and then the teenagers who made history at the US Open, Medvedev has dominated his end of the draw, losing just one set in the whole event on his route to the final. His serve is the secret to his success. His first and second serves are also excellent, and he is seldom broken. He also catches every ball, leaving his opponents scurrying to gather up the shards. This, coupled with his ability to maintain a high level of concentration throughout a match, has given him the calm confidence and edge he needs to reach his second US Open final and second Grand Slam final of the season.
Medvedev is like a robot, according to Youngmisuk. He simply grinds and grinds and grinds and grinds and grinds and grinds and grinds and grinds and grinds and grinds and grinds and grinds Consistency is a weapon for him. But he’s had a relatively easy road to the final, facing just two double-digit seeds along the way. Against Djokovic, he’ll need fresh legs.
Maine: Given how much attention Medvedev got on his run to the final in 2019, it’s almost surprising to see how little he’s been noticed this time. But make no mistake: this is intentional. On Friday, he expressed his delight at having had such a “easy” campaign so far. He has only lost one set thus far, and he has been able to concentrate only on his great tennis by getting the job done quickly each time, with minimal pyrotechnics or crowd encounters.
The second set of his match against Felix Auger-Aliassime illustrates his locked-in attitude more than anything else. Medvedev utilized his expertise to fight back from a 5-2 deficit in the second set and two set chances at 5-4 to win the set 7-5 and the match in straight sets.
What strategy should Djokovic use to defeat Medvedev?
Gilbert: There’s no such thing as a blueprint. When these questions are posed, each player responds differently. In best-of-five matches, Djokovic is 2-0, while they’re 3-3 in the others. The fact that it’s a best-of-five set gives Djokovic a significant edge.
Connelly: The body-blow blueprint is Djokovic’s best remaining card. His best-of-five endurance is still his greatest edge over the rest of the men’s tennis field. It rescued him in the French Open final against Tsitsipas, and it saved him against Zverev on Friday night. At this moment, Medvedev’s hard-court game is on par with or better than Djokovic’s — he has won a greater proportion of both service and return points on hard courts than Djokovic in the past year — but Djokovic’s lungs and best-of-five mystique have been too strong for anybody to overcome.
Djokovic is pursuing his own plan, according to Stevenson. Medvedev is someone he knows. Djokovic will concentrate on what got him to the final: his mental fortitude, all-court technical consistency, and physical fitness on the court. Djokovic will create history if he takes those three to Arthur Ashe.
Stubbs: He’s on his own. No one in the history of men’s tennis has a better understanding of how to win in these situations.
Kumar: Wear Medvedev down, as usual. Early in the game, get him jogging. Then break him when he’s exhausted and unable to keep up. Simple.
Youngmisuk: Djokovic just has to focus on his game, ignore the pressure of creating history, and do what he does best: grab every ball, wear out his opponent, and impose his will. He should be hoisting No. 21 at the end of the day if he plays his game at his usual level and doesn’t allow nerves or the occasion get the better of him.
Maine: In the Australian Open final in February, Djokovic absolutely destroyed the red-hot Medvedev, and that’s about as tailor-made a blueprint as he’ll find going into Sunday. With a variety of strokes, he was able to break Medvedev’s rhythm and outlast him in lengthy rallies. Most importantly, Djokovic remained composed and unfazed during the match. This might be another fast afternoon if he can replicate his performance.
Novak Djokovic, the world’s No. 1 men’s tennis player, has a chance to create history by becoming the first man to win the calendar Grand Slam and his 21st major. JOHN G. MABANGLO/EPA
What has been Djokovic’s most impressive aspect of his season thus far?
Gilbert: His tenacity. His problem-solving abilities. His ability to change his game when necessary.
Connelly: To be honest, the most remarkable thing about him is that he hasn’t been at his best. He was more dominating from point to point in each of his last two great runs — winning four of five Slams in 2011-12 and five of six in 2015-16. This has been more difficult, but he has managed to stay alive and progress.
Stevenson: Among the many impressive moments in Djokovic’s season, I believe the ups and downs of playing professional tennis during a pandemic, testing positive for COVID-19, fighting for political change on the ATP Tour, standing up for lower-ranked players, working to change his “villain” moniker, winning when it mattered, understanding history and embracing it for the world to see are among the most memorable. Djokovic can view Rod Laver, who won the calendar-year Grand Slam twice, from the president’s box (in 1962 and 1969). That’s very amazing.
Stubbs: All of it! He is both a cerebral and physical force to be reckoned with.
Kumar: His tenacity. We all know how his last year ended. After hitting a woman line judge with a ball at the conclusion of the first set in his fourth-round match against Pablo Carreno Busta, he was forfeited from the US Open. It’s remarkable great achievement for him to take a step back, calibrate, and have this almost flawless year of tennis (he’s 27-0 in Grand Slams this year).
Youngmisuk: He’s a hard worker. Djokovic continues to pound down his opponents after his Olympic collapse. Even more remarkable is how he has continued to win despite the additional weight and pressure of creating history.
Maine: Having seen his breakdown in Tokyo personally, I’m most impressed by what he’s been able to accomplish in New York after such a humiliating Olympic performance. He was open about his ambition for the Golden Slam, but he came away empty-handed and with a tarnished image as a result of his unpleasant behavior during and after the bronze-medal match.
He then returned to the US Open, where he had defaulted the previous year, and has been able to score remarkable victory after amazing win while maintaining his cool, despite mounting pressure and an odd pattern of dropping the first set in each of his last four matches. It’s been an emotional roller coaster.
Honorable mention: His semifinal victory against Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros, which qualified him for the French Open final. It was legendary to defeat the King of Clay, the best player to ever play on the surface, in four sets in Paris.
It’s time to make a prediction: who will win and why?
Gilbert: I’ve wanted to witness history since we first began talking about it, and I despise even using the term “perfect game,” because that’s exactly what it is. It’s a flawless game, and speaking about a perfect game is a jinx, yet Djokovic will win this match, most likely in four sets. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was straight sets, as it is in Australia.
Connelly: For the last two weeks, I’ve been selecting the field in the “Djokovic vs. the field” tournament. To reach to this position, he had to overcome significant odds and fierce competition. He is, nevertheless, present. Medvedev is 3-5 versus Djokovic in his career and is in fantastic form, but I’m done choosing against him. He comes out on top after four games.
Stevenson: “I’m going to play this [final] like it’s the last match of my career,” Djokovic declared after Zverev to Patrick McEnroe after the match.
And imagine Kevin Costner on the bench, alone, in “For Love of the Game” as Djokovic sits on the changeover, constantly looking straight ahead. Then he goes on to throw a perfect game. Djokovic’s mental game has been flawless. Djokovic is the winner because he is so excellent.
Djokovic in five, according to Stubbs.
Kumar predicts Djokovic will win in three games. Djokovic hasn’t lost a Grand Slam match against Medvedev, despite the fact that they’ve played two at the Australian Open. He won his first Grand Slam of the year in just two hours at the 2021 Australian Open, defeating Medvedev in straight sets (7-5, 6-2, 6-2). He’s in the greatest shape of his life, and Medvedev isn’t going to provide him with any new challenges in the closing moments of his career.
The last guy to win a calendar-year slam (Rod Laver) did it 52 years ago. And Djokovic is almost certain to join that group on Sunday.
Youngmisuk: We will see something unprecedented in men’s tennis. If Djokovic doesn’t have a spectacular breakdown, he’ll win his 21st major and complete the calendar-year Grand Slam.
Maine: While Medvedev’s turn will come, it will not be this weekend. Djokovic completes the Grand Slam by winning the men’s-record-breaking No. 21 in four sets, ensuring his place in tennis history. He has shown that no matter how difficult an opponent is, he always has a little more. With so much riding on Sunday, he won’t allow this once-in-a-lifetime chance pass him by.
The us open tennis qualifying 2021 is the men’s final of the US Open. It will be held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, New York City on Labor Day Monday, September 2.
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