Novak Djokovic has booked his place in the US Open final after beating American world No.47 Ben Shelton 6-3 6-2 7-6 in New York on Friday.
The 36-year-old will next face top-seed Carlos Alcaraz or Russian world No.3 Daniil Medvedev at the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday as he looks to equal Margaret Court for the most Grand Slam singles titles in history.
Djokovic, who will regain the world No.1 spot once Flushing Meadows has concluded, lost the Wimbledon final in July and has now reached all four Grand Slam finals this year having won both the French Open and Australian Open.
The 23-time major champion will be taking part in his 36th Grand Slam final this weekend – in what is his 10th final at Flushing Meadows – as he attempts to become the oldest man to win the US Open singles title in the Open Era.
Second-seed Djokovic took control against Shelton in the first set with a crucial break in game six and the American wasted his own break-point opportunity in game nine, which was enough for the Serbian to take the first set 6-3.
Shelton had been on a fairytale run on his way to the semi-finals and needed to produce something special in the second set but Djokovic – playing his 100th Grand Slam match – looked on top form as play resumed and almost secured a break in the opening game before the 20-year-old battled back to hold.
It did not take Djokovic too much longer to get the second-set break, though, which he secured in game five and he registered a double break in game seven before a hold of serve made it 6-2 as he took a dominant two-set lead.
Djokovic seemed keen to wrap up the victory in straight-sets and broke Shelton in the opening game of the third but Shelton got the American home crowd roaring in game eight as he secured his first break of the match to level up the set.
That appeared to take somewhat of a mental toll on Djokovic as Shelton held and then conjured up set point in game 10 but the Serbian took it to deuce and secured the hold before registering his sixth break of the match.
Djokovic had match point in game 12 but Shelton stunned him to force a third-set tie-break as the current world No.2 eventually came out on top 7-6 (7-4) to secure his spot in Sunday’s US Open final.
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