In a historic achievement, Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury have claimed their third consecutive US Open men’s doubles title with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win against Matthew Ebden and Rohan Bopanna. It’s their 18th straight victory at Flushing Meadows, with their last defeat coming in the semi-finals in 2020. They have become the first duo to triumph in three men’s finals on the bounce since George Lott and John Doeg, whose run lasted from 1928 to 1930. All in all, an impressive feat.
Fancy some more pre-match reading? Go on, you’ve got time.
Includes the standout quote: “At first I used to think negative things, like: ‘Why is there so much pressure? Why is this so hard? Blah, blah, blah.’ I realise in a way it’s pressure but it’s not. I mean, there are people struggling to feed their families, people who don’t know where their next meal is going to come from, people who have to pay their bills. That’s real pressure, that’s real hardship, that’s real life.”
In the absence of any head-to-head data to draw on, the US Open’s social media team have shared a graphic comparing and contrasting Djokovic’s career to date with Shelton’s. As if the 20-year-old needed reminding, his opponent has 1,074 career wins to his 20 and 95 career titles to his none. The lad’s got time on his side, at least. No pressure!
Likewise, if you haven’t already, it’s worth reading Bryan Armen Graham’s report on Alcaraz’s semi-final win against Alexander Zverev. “I’m feeling great physically, I’m feeling strong enough mentally,” the defending champion said afterwards. “I think I’m ready to play a great battle against Medvedev in the semi-final.”
For those who need a recap on the women’s singles semi-finals, here’s Tumaini Carayol on Coco Gauff’s victory over Karolina Muchova and Aryna Sabalenka’s comeback against Madison Keys.
We’re officially at the business end of the US Open and, inevitably, Novak Djokovic is firm favourite to seal the deal and win the men’s singles title for a fourth time. Steely-eyed and disconcertingly intense in his straight-sets quarter-final victory against Taylor Fritz – no change there then – the Serb will have to overcome Ben Shelton, another home favourite, to secure his place in the final.
Given that Djokovic has won his last nine sets on the bounce, Shelton, the young entertainer, has his work cut out for him, but he showed enough in his quarter-final triumph over Frances Tiafoe to suggest he’s a special talent. The winner will face one of Carlos Alcaraz or Daniil Medvedev, who meet in the other semi-final later on.