Never fazed, rarely flummoxed, Novak Djokovic is so collected in best-of-five set matches even when falling behind, as he has done repeatedly at the US Open.
After 17 unforced errors in the first set, Djokovic made a total of 11 the rest of the way. Djokovic has earned five victories on the US Open’s hard courts and will face 2020 runner-up Alexander Zverev in Friday’s semi-finals. If Djokovic can win that match and Sunday’s final, he will join Don Budge (1938) and Rod Laver (1962 and 1969) as the only men to clinch all four major singles trophies in one season.
Zverev goes into the semi-finals on a 16-match winning streak, including a 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 triumph against Djokovic en route to the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. The No.4-seeded Zverev, a 24-year-old German, advanced to the semi-finals in New York on Wednesday afternoon by beating Lloyd Harris of South Africa 7-6(6), 6-3, 6-4.
Raducanu, first qualifier in US Open semi-finals
When Emma Raducanu got to Flushing Meadows to try to win her way through qualifying and earn what would be a berth in her second Grand Slam tournament, she was not planning on a particularly long stay.
Look at her now, two weeks into this adventure: The 18-year-old from Great Britain is the first qualifier in the professional era to reach the US Open semi-finals. And she hasn’t even dropped a set yet. Showing off the shots and poise of someone much more experienced, the 150th-ranked Raducanu became the second unseeded teen in two days to secure a spot in the final four, eliminating Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Belinda Bencic 6-3, 6-4.
She will face No.17 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece, a semi-finalist at this year’s French Open. Sakkari won 22 consecutive points she served in one stretch and beat No.4 Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4.
Results: Men: Quarter-finals: Novak Djokovic beat Matteo Berrettini 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3; Alexander Zverev beat Lloyd Harris 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-4Women: Quarter-finals: Emma Raducanu beat Belinda Bencic 6-3, 6-4; Maria Sakkari beat Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-4