'Utter brilliance': Fans react to insane Novak Djokovic display

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·Sports Reporter
·5-min read
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After dropping the first set in the quarter final against Matteo Berrettini, Novak Djokovic put on an absolute masterclass to move on to the US Open semi-final. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
After dropping the first set in the quarter final against Matteo Berrettini, Novak Djokovic put on an absolute masterclass to move on to the US Open semi-final. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Tennis fans were left in absolute awe by Novak Djokovic's brilliant turnaround to progress to the US Open semi-finals over Italy's Matteo Berrettini.

The Serbian world No.1 dropped the first set to Berrettini, but from then on it was pure Djokovic dominance as he registered a 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 win to set up a semi-final clash with Alexander Zverev.

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It was the third time this year, and on the third different grand slam surface, that Djokovic has triumphed over Berretini, having also banked wins over him at the French Open and Wimbledon.

The victory also brought Djokovic one step closer to the prized calendar grand slam feat, with the Serbian star having already won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.

Just as he did in the Wimbledon final, Djokovic had no problem turning around the match against the No. 6-seeded Italian after dropping the first set.

Making almost every service game difficult for the No. 6 seed, Djokovic accumulated 16 break points, converting five.

Djokovic will now prepare to face Zverev in their second tournament final in as many months, with the German having toppled Djokovic in the semi-finals at the Tokyo Olympics to deny him the ultra-rare golden slam.

The World No.1 can join Rod Laver as the only male players to achieve the feat, with Aussie great Laver doing so for the second time in 1969.

Djokovic would be the first player ever to achieve the fabled feat on three different surfaces.

Fans couldn't believe what they were seeing as Djokovic easily turned around what loomed as a challenging match against Berrettini.

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Zverev to serve up true test for Djokovic

Zverev extended his winning streak to 16 matches to seal a return to the semi-finals of the US Open, where he looms large as a potential roadblock to Novak Djokovic's bid for a calendar-year grand slam.

A 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 6-4 victory over unseeded South African Lloyd Harris leaves Zverev one win away from returning to a second consecutive final at Flushing Meadows, and another shot at a first career major title after losing to Dominic Thiem last year.

But he will have to do something no player has achieved in 2021 for that right, beat world No.1 Djokovic at a slam.

The path to what would be a record 21st major title has become very steep for the history-hunting Serb, who toughed it out after going behind to Wimbledon finalist Berrettini with Zverev now waiting in the wings.

Novak Djokovic will face Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals of the US Open, as he pursues a calendar grand slam. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Novak Djokovic will face Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals of the US Open, as he pursues a calendar grand slam. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

"He is the best player in the world," said Zverev, who beat Djokovic in the semi-finals at the Tokyo Olympics to end his bid for the golden slam (Olympic gold and all for majors in the same year).

"He is very difficult to beat."

Harris stepped out onto Arthur Ashe stadium court oozing energy, looking as if he had performed on tennis's biggest stage many times before.

He had good reason to be confident having defeated Olympic silver medallist Karen Khachanov, Denis Shapovalov and Reilly Opelka on his way to his first career major quarter-final.

But no player in New York has been riding a bigger wave of momentum than fourth-seeded Zverev, who came into the contest on a career-best 15-match winning streak.

With AAP

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