US Open 2023: Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic aim to set up title showdown

Carlos Alcaraz celebrates winning a point
In the past four Grand Slam tournaments Carlos Alcaraz has contested, he has won 24 matches and lost just one

US Open 2023

Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 28 August-10 September

Coverage: Daily live text and radio commentaries across the BBC Sport website, app, BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Sports Extra

Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic will aim to set up another eagerly anticipated showdown in a Grand Slam final at the US Open on Friday.

Defending champion Alcaraz, 20, said it would be "great" to meet three-time winner Djokovic in the New York showpiece, two months after edging an epic Wimbledon final against the Serb.

The top seed must first find a way past Russian third seed Daniil Medvedev.

Djokovic, meanwhile, meets American Ben Shelton (not before 20:00 BST).

The 36-year-old, seeded second, was denied a record-equalling 24th major title in a gripping five-set loss to Alcaraz at Wimbledon.

But, in pursuit of his first US Open triumph since 2018, Djokovic is back within two wins of matching Margaret Court's all-time tally.

"It would be great to play a final against Novak here in New York but we both have really tough semi-finals," Alcaraz said.

"But obviously both of us are looking for that potential final."

The Spaniard dismissed Alexander Zverev in straight sets to reach the last four at Flushing Meadows and has lost only one set in five matches as he seeks to retain the trophy which represented his first major title last year.

Alcaraz's rise has continued since that breakthrough triumph, winning his first Slam on grass and boasting a tour-leading 57 victories and six titles this season.

He meets another former champion in Medvedev (from 00:00 BST), having recorded straight-set wins over the 2021 winner at Wimbledon and Indian Wells this year.

"The last matches that I played against Daniil I played a tactical game perfectly," said Alcaraz. "I think my game suits well against an opponent like Daniil."

He added: "Last year I was facing my first semi-final of a Grand Slam. Now I'm facing my fourth one. I feel like I'm a totally different player.

"I feel like I'm more mature. I deal better with the pressure in those kinds of moments. I'm a different person and a different player."

Novak Djokovic celebrates at the US Open
In Alcaraz, Djokovic and Medvedev, three former men's champions have reached the US Open semi-finals for the first time since 2018

Before that match, Djokovic will contest a record 47th Grand Slam semi-final of his illustrious career.

Surpassing Federer in that regard, Djokovic admitted he found the conditions during his quarter-final victory over Taylor Fritz on Tuesday challenging.

But, despite appearing to experience a difficult period physically in the match, like Alcaraz he was able to secure an efficient straight-set win.

New York has experienced a heatwave in the second week of the US Open, with temperatures well above 30C and humidity levels over 50%.

That has led to the partial closure of the Arthur Ashe Stadium roof to provide shade, but Medvedev said playing in such heat could cause a player to "die".

"We both struggled I think physically a lot, especially in the first set, set and a half. [In] very humid conditions. [I was] just sweating a lot," Djokovic said after his quarter-final.

Having ousted Fritz, Djokovic, who missed last year's tournament because of his Covid-19 vaccination status, would end home hopes in the men's draw with victory in his first meeting with 20-year-old Shelton.

The big-serving Shelton began his stunning breakthrough year by reaching the Australian Open quarter-finals in only his second Slam in January.

This US Open run has arrived one year after a first-round exit at Flushing Meadows, in what was his first main-draw appearance at a major.

On facing another American opponent, and likely having the majority of the crowd against him again, Djokovic said: "Sometimes I just like to not really pay attention to what's going on [in] the stands.

"But sometimes I want to respond and I want to feed off that energy," he added.

"It's normal, it's logical to expect that most of the crowd would support the home player. That's probably going to be the case on Friday, but I'll be ready for it."

Before those semi-finals take place, Britain's Joe Salisbury and American Rajeev Ram will attempt to defend their men's doubles title in the final on Arthur Ashe Stadium (17:00 BST).

Salisbury and Ram overcame second seeds Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek in three sets to reach their third successive US Open final on Thursday.

That was a 17th successive victory in New York for the 2021 and 2022 champions, who will chase a third successive triumph when they play India's Rohan Bopanna and Australia's Matthew Ebden.

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