The time has come. After the history making runs of both Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez, the teenage super showdown will go off just hours after this was written. Make sure to read the talented TennisPilot’s preview of that affair here.
Over on the Men’s side, more history shall be made. Either the world number 1, Novak Djokovic, will cement his spot as the greatest of all time with the first Calendar Slam win since 1969, or Daniil Medvedev becomes the first Next Gen player to defeat a Big Three member to win a Major title.
Set in near 86 degree heat and high humidity, the 4:00 PM local time start will be challenging for the players, and neither particularly enjoys such conditions. But without further ado, let’s get into the match!
Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Daniil Medvedev (2)
Sunday, September 12, 2021 – 4:00 PM EDT at Arthur Ashe Stadium
The US Open is usually quite the top heavy affair on the men's side, and this year proved to be no exception. It is the world no.1 (and 1st seed) Novak Djokovic facing world no.2 (and 2nd seed) Daniil Medvedev.
- Djokovic N. - Zverev A. SF 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
- Djokovic N. - Berrettini M. QF 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3
- Djokovic N. - Brooksby J. R16 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
- Djokovic N. - Nishikori K. 3R 6(4)7, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2
- Djokovic N. - Griekspoor T. 2R 6-2, 6-3, 6-2
- Djokovic N. - Rune H. 1R 6-1, 6(5)7, 6-2, 6-1
Just as we anticipated and broke down in our ATP semifinals preview, the match against the in-form Alexander Zverev turned into an absolute war. As has been the recurring trend this tournament, Djokovic was the slower starter and lost the first set for the fourth consecutive match. The Serb then hit the ground running, storming to a 2-1 set advantage - despite a spectacular set point saved in a 53(!!) point rally by the German.
Zverev managed to equalize and bring the match into a deciding set, which he's the first one to accomplish against a healthy Djokovic in a hard court major since Thiem AO 2020. However, the sheer class and desire from the world no.1 was far superior in the fifth, which Djokovic won 6-2.
With everything on the line, the Serb is planning on leaving it all out on court in the final: [...] "I’m going to treat the next match like it is the last match of my career.”
For Daniil Medvedev, the draw looked fairly kind from the start, and the Russian big serve/defensive wall hybrid has taken full advantage.
- Medvedev D. - Auger Aliassime F. SF 6-4, 7-5, 6-2
- Medvedev D. - Van De Zandschulp B. QF 6-3, 6-0, 4-6, 7-5
- Medvedev D. - Evans D. R16 6-3, 6-4, 6-3
- Medvedev D. - Andujar P. 3R 6-0, 6-4, 6-3
- Medvedev D. - Koepfer D. 2R 6-4, 6-1, 6-2
- Medvedev D. - Gasquet R. 1R 6-4, 6-3, 6-1
The no.2 seed has swatted aside all opposition with very little fuss this fortnight, with only the sensational Botic van de Zandschulp run forcing Daniil into a fourth set. In the semifinal against Felix Auger-Aliassime, the Canadian was playing inspired tennis for large portions of the match. That wasn't enough, however, with the Canadian's second serve under constant assault which lead to an early break for the first set.
In the second, Felix looked dominant, breaking away for a 5-2 lead. Only to see his smart variation in service speeds and placement and the consistency off the ground to go missing. Nerves certainly played a part in his undoing, but one cannot discredit the sublime tennis on offer from Medvedev. At 3-5* in, he saved two set points and you could just sense him radiating that he would break no matter what, which the no.2 seed also did.
Breaking once more to end the second set saw the wind knocked out of Felix's sails, who couldn't live with Daniil from the baseline in what eventually ended up a 6-2 last set.
This will be the highly anticipated rematch of the 2021 Australian Open final. Coming into that match with a one inch abdominal tear, Djokovic was made the tennis betting underdog at some top sportsbooks, or around a pick em. After losing a close first set, Medvedev was mentally shattered and capitulated in straights.
One who usually gets so many free points on serve, the world no.1 neutralized that completely, and also outgrinded the Russian from the baseline. Daniil will have had plenty of time to learn his lessons from that humbling defeat, however, and has played much better tennis now than he did back then.
A baseline war should be the expectation in this title tousle, with both men possessing near impenetrable defenses. While it is nigh impossible to oppose a fully locked in Djokovic in a history making Major title match, Medvedev does have the tools to extend this contest.
Looking past the top betting sites' ML pricing north of +200, expect another Zverev-like affair here. Another five-setter could well be on the cards, and with the total half a game lower than Djokovic's semifinal, we go back to that well once more.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.