Novak Djokovic returns to no. 1 after US Open semifinal win
September 10, 2023
Novak Djokovic of Belgrade, Serbia is returning to number one in the world in men’s tennis on Monday. In the semifinals on Friday, Djokovic advanced to the final of the 2023 United States Open with a 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 win over American Ben Shelton.
Djokovic is set to pass current world number one Carlos Alcaraz. The young Spanish phenom was beaten by world number three Daniil Medvedev of Russia, 7-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in the other semifinal.
The 2023 United States Open men’s final on Sunday will be a rematch of the 2021 United States Open men’s final. Two years ago, Medvedev beat Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 for his only grand slam title to date. Djokovic meanwhile won a record 23rd grand slam title when he beat Casper Ruud of Norway 7-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the final of the 2023 French Open.
Head to head, Djokovic has won nine of 14 matches. This will be their third meeting in 2023. Djokovic won 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinals of Adelaide prior to the Australian Open in January, and Medvedev won 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals of Dubai.
This will be their fourth meeting at a major. In addition to the 2021 United States Open final, Djokovic has beaten Medvedev twice at the Australian Open. The first time came in the fourth round in 2019, where Djokovic won by a score of 6-4, 6-7, 6-2, 6-3. The second time came in the final of the 2021 Australian Open, which Djokovic won 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.
On the women’s side, two semifinals were played under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Thursday. Despite a 40 minute delay when an environmental protester glued his feet to the court, Coco Gauff of the United States beat Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 7-5. Then Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus beat Madison Keys of the United States 0-6, 7-6, 7-6. Gauff will play Sabalenka in the women’s final on Saturday.
Head-to-head, Gauff has won three of five prior meetings. Gauff won in the second round of Lexington, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 in 2020. Sabalenka, the new world number one as well on Monday, then beat Gauff 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 in the second round of Ostrava in 2020. Gauff then beat Sabalenka 6-5, 6-3 in the third round of Rome in 2021, and then 7-5, 4-6, 7-6, in the third round of the 2022 National Bank Open in Toronto. In the only match of 2023, Sabalenka beat Gauff 6-4, 6-0 in the quarterfinals of Indian Wells.
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