One story that perhaps got overlooked on Saturday, amid the excitement of Emma Raducanu’s US Open women’s singles victory, was the combined success of Desirae Krawczyk of the United States and Joe Salisbury of Britain.
The duo won the mixed doubles championship, giving Krawczyk a third major mixed doubles title this year, one short of a Grand Slam.
The pair beat Giuliana Olmos of Mexico and Marcelo Arevalo of Spain, 7-5, 6-2.
Krawczyk won Roland Garros this year with Salisbury and Wimbledon with Neal Skupski. She is the seventh player, male or female, to win three major titles in mixed doubles in the Open era, and the first since Martina Hingis and Leander Paes in 2015. The other two women to have won it are Martina Navratilova (1985 ) and Margaret. Court (1969).
“Honestly, just thinking about it is just crazy to me, ”said Krawczyk, who was born in Palm Desert, Calif., And played at Arizona State before turning pro. “It hasn’t really sunk yet. No, I’m just happy to be able to play in front of a lot of friends and family here and play with Joe and have our whole team with us.
Salisbury also won the men’s doubles, along with American Rajeev Ram, and became the first man to win both events at the US Open in the same year since Bob Bryan in 2010.
An interesting factor in Sunday’s final will be the fickle New York crowd, who were much slower to embrace Djokovic than other game legends.
It remains to be seen whether the crowd will be more encouraging as he tries to defeat Daniil Medvedev and win the first men’s Grand Slam since 1969.
Djokovic, who is beloved in the Balkans and who is also one of the most popular tennis players in China, has struggled to win over fans in the countries where the major tennis tournaments are held.
Despite his nine titles in Australia, for example, he remains an object of national derision, as evidenced by a game show earlier this year.
Crowd reception at Arthur Ashe Stadium was mixed for Djokovic during this tournament, far less than the staunch support Serena Williams received during her Grand Slam bid in 2015.
“Obviously you always want to have the crowd behind you, but that’s not always possible,” Djokovic said last week.
Djokovic said he thinks the crowd hoots him in the first round here this year; onlookers were actually chanting enthusiastically the last name of his opponent, Holger Rune.
“It was not an ideal atmosphere for me to tell you that,” Djokovic said. “But I’ve been in these particular atmospheres before, so I knew how to handle it.”
Daniil Medvedev was part of ATP’s “NextGen” campaign, which began in 2017 in hopes of promoting the younger generation of male tennis stars who had yet to make major breakthroughs.
Four years later, the same guys have still won almost every major trophy, with 34-year-old Novak Djokovic maintaining the dominance he once shared with other members of the so-called Big 4: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.
The dominance of this group, however, has led to extraordinary stagnation in the sports pipeline.
A single man born in the 1990s, 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem won a major singles title, and he did so after Djokovic was excluded from that Open after inadvertently hitting a linesman with a ball.
Thiem, who turned 28 this month, is barely young for a tennis player, but he is the youngest active male player to win a Grand Slam singles title.
This contrasts sharply with women’s tennis, where on Saturday 18-year-old Emma Raducanu became the third player born in the 2000s to win a major tournament.
Medvedev, who will try to defeat Djokovic in today’s Open final, would appear best placed to make a breakthrough; this year, he became the first man outside of the “Big 4” to hold the ATP No.2 ranking since 2005. But at 25, he’s already a veteran by the standards of most generations.
Novak Djokovic is one game away from finishing the Grand Slam in men’s singles for the first time since 1969, when Rod Laver did so the first full year that majors were open to professionals.
Few have come close to this feat in the decades since: When he won Wimbledon in July, Djokovic already became the first man since Laver to win the Australian Open, the French Open. and Wimbledon the same year. After winning his US Open semi-final on Friday, Djokovic cited an interview in which Kobe Bryant said he was not happy to have taken a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. to explain his state of mind.
“That’s the kind of attitude I have; the job is not done, ”Djokovic said. “The excitement is there. The motivation is there, without a doubt, probably more than ever. But I still have one to do.
By reaching the final, Djokovic went one step further than Serena Williams’ Grand Slam bid in 2015, when she lost in the semifinals to Roberta Vinci. Djokovic, who recently followed Williams’ lead in refusing to answer questions about the goal he is pursuing, said he can understand what she is going through.
“I was talking to Serena; she was very emotional about everything that was going on, “Djokovic said of Williams in 2015.” I can understand what she is going through right now, I understand it now. Obviously once you are in this situation you can really understand what a player is going through.
“I understand why she wanted to avoid all questions about this because at the end of the day you have to get out on the pitch and deliver,” he added. “You are always expected to win. For a great legend that she is, she still has these expectations from everyone, including herself. It’s no different with me.
If Saturday’s US Open women’s final was perhaps the most surprising Grand Slam final in tennis history – featuring two unranked teenage girls, Leylah Fernandez of Canada and future winner Emma Raducanu of Great Britain – then the men’s Open final is perhaps the least surprising.
It’s like we’ve been waiting for this all year, or at least since Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open, then the French Open, then Wimbledon. Now Djokovic will look to beat Daniil Medvedev to win the first men’s Grand Slam of the calendar year since Rod Laver in 1969, and the first since Steffi Graf won a Golden Slam – the four majors plus the Olympic gold medal. – in 1988. It is undoubtedly the rarest achievement in tennis. A win would also give Djokovic his 21st career Grand Slam title, putting him ahead of rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Saturday, September 11 at 4 p.m. EST.
In the USA
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Novak Djokovic has a milestone in his career that was somewhat overshadowed by his attempt to win all four Grand Slam tournaments in the same year. In the final of the US Open on Sunday, he will try to seize alone the record for major titles in men’s singles with a 21st place. That would break a three-way tie with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Federer won his 20th major at the 2018 Australian Open, and Nadal won his 20th at Roland Garros last year, tying Federer for the first time.
(Pete Sampras, who won a record 14th major title at the 2002 US Open, is now a distant fourth place.)
Despite his tie with Nadal and Federer in major titles, Djokovic is considered the most successful player in men’s tennis history by most statistical measures. He spent more time with the No.1 world ranking than anyone else, at 337 weeks, after surpassing Federer’s record of 310 weeks earlier this year. Djokovic is also the only player to have won all nine prestigious Masters 1000 events, and he has won each of them twice.
The Open Era overall record for major singles titles belongs to Serena Williams, with 23.