The moment is finally here. After months of anticipation, what started in February and carried through May, June and July, has its end game on Sunday. The only question is: Will it happen?
Can Novak Djokovic win the calendar Grand Slam?
It has been 33 years since a singles player won all four Grand Slams in a season. The last to do it was Steffi Graf in 1988; the last man was Rod Laver, in 1969. It’s an elusive feat. Not many have even come close. Since Graf, there was just Serena Williams in 2015; however, she lost in the semifinals to unseeded Roberta Vinci.
That’s not all on the line when the World No. 1 enters his final match at the 2021 US Open against Daniil Medvedev. The 34-year-old Serbian star needs one win to break a three-way tie with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most all-time men’s singles Grand Slam wins. They are tied at 20.
Djokovic won’t have a walkover against No. 2 Medvedev in the final. The Russian will be playing in his third career Grand Slam final, having lost to Nadal in the 2019 U.S. Open final and to Djokovic at the 2021 Australian Open in January. Overall, Djokovic holds a 5-3 record against the 25-year-old Medvedev.
Saturday’s women’s final was also historic, as the first qualifier — man or woman — won a Grand Slam tournament when Emma Raducanu captured the title. Will there be more history made on Sunday?
Sporting News had all the action as Djokovic goes for not one but two historic feats at the 2021 US Open final.
(1) Novak Djokovic vs. (2) Daniil Medvedev
Match results, highlights from 2021 US Open men’s final
Medvedev leads 2-0
A quick service game for Medvedev as he goes up 40-0 and then holds in five points as Djokovic hits the backhand long.
Medvedev leads 1-0
Djokovic struggling with his serve in this first game (ended with 38 percent of his first serves going in). Medvedev gets the game to level at deuce — and gets an early breakpoint chance — after two long rallies and two shots missed on the forehand by the World No. 1. Medvedev then gets the break as Djokovic sends the forehand wide.
All times Eastern
4:15 p.m. — Brad Pitt and Bradley Cooper in attendance as is Maria Sharapova and the last guy to win the calendar Grand Slam, Rod Laver.
4:05 p.m. — Players enter Arthur Ashe Stadium. The weight of history is on the shoulders of Djokovic. Can Medvedev play spoiler?
3:47 p.m. — Another Golden Slam. Will Djokovic make it a Slam three-peat? (Note: Djokovic cannot win the Golden Slam as he lost in the semis to Alexander Zverev at the Tokyo Olympics.)
3:43 p.m. — Fun fact: Djokovic is the first player to complete the career Grand Slam twice.
3:10 p.m. — Sam Stosur and Zhang Shuai defeat Americans Coco Gauff and Caty McNally for the women’s doubles crown.
3 p.m. — Earlier in the day, a Golden Slam was achieved by Diede de Groot. She won all four Grand Slams and the Olympics in 2021.