With Novak Djokovic one grand slam victory off the calendar and a historic 21st major, through the net a certain Russian in Daniil Medvedev will strive for a first grand slam.
Tonight’s victory would make Djokovic the third man after Don Budge (1938) and Rod Laver (1962 and 1969) to win all four majors in the same year. Medvedev, meanwhile, is hoping it is a lucky third in a major final.
Djokovic has had a difficult path to the final than in previous years, losing the first set in his last three games before coming back each time (in typical Djokovic fashion) to win. His most recent arrival in his ding-dong semi-final with fourth seed Alexander Zverev.
It’s not just the grand slam of the calendar at stake, with the 34-year-old set to set a record 21st record to overtake Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal.
“I know we want to talk about history. I know it’s at stake, ”Djokovic said. “I’m going to consider this game as my last because it is arguably the most important of my career. “
Medvedev, meanwhile, advanced to the final, losing just one set and setting up a brutal tennis exhibition that saw him emerge as one of the tour’s most exciting prospects.
“The more you lose something, the more you want to win it… I lost two finals. I want to win the third, ”said the Russian, who failed against Nadal in New York in 2019 and was beaten by Djokovic in the Australian Open final this year.
The Serbian didn’t have much trouble defeating Medvedev in straight sets at Melbourne Park in January, but the 25-year-old now appears to be a more seasoned contender, having previously disturbed Djokovic with his intensity.