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US Open: Novak Djokovic outclasses Ben Shelton to stay on course for record-equalling 24th Grand Slam

Novak Djokovic crushes the hopes of 20-year-old Ben Shelton with a comfortable straight-sets victory which keeps him on course for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam I Watch the conclusion to the final Grand Slam of the year in New York - live on Sky Sports Tennis

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Watch highlights as Novak Djokovic crushed the hopes of American Ben Shelton to reach the US Open final

Novak Djokovic hung up the phone on young American Ben Shelton to reach his 10th US Open final and stay on target for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.

Djokovic, playing in his 100th US Open singles match, has now reached all four Grand Slam finals this season for the third time in his career and 36th Grand Slam final overall with a comfortable 6-3 6-2 7-6 (7-4) victory on a patriotic Arthur Ashe Stadium.

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Djokovic said he thrives in big matches after defeating Shelton in straight sets

"Look, these are the kind of matches and occasions that I still thrive on, that inspire me to wake up every day and work hard," Djokovic said.

"Grand slams are the most important, the ones that mean the most to me. Playing an American player is never easy and I had to hold my nerve. It was anybody's game at the end of the third set. I'm really pleased with this win today."

Already assured of returning to the top of the world rankings when they are updated after the tournament, Djokovic will continue the hunt for his 24th Grand Slam title to match Margaret Court's all-time singles record on Sunday.

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Djokovic appeared to mimic Ben Shelton's 'hang up the phone' celebration after beating the American

How Djokovic made it through to the US Open final...

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Djokovic and Shelton went toe-to-toe in this epic 30-shot rally

A poor service game saw Shelton gift Djokovic a break in the first set with three unforced errors including an ill-advised drop shot.

The youngster saved four set points on his own serve and had a break-back point in the next but was unable to take it as Djokovic got the first set on the board in 34 minutes.

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Shelton had flummoxed opponents in New York with his big serve but the 36-year-old Djokovic was able to harness his experience to neutralise the young American.

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The 36-year-old Serb showed his powers of improvisation by hitting this sensational shot round the post

A double-fault gave Djokovic another break in the second as Shelton's unforced errors really began to pile up; by the end of the second set he had made 27 to Djokovic's nine.

Playing in only his seventh US Open singles match Shelton gave the New York crowd something to cheer in the third when he twice retrieved breaks and had a set point on the Djokovic serve.

It was quickly snuffed out, though, and Djokovic prevailed in the tie-break to book a 36th Grand Slam final - which is incredibly half of the majors he has competed in.

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Shelton raised the Arthur Ashe stadium roof with this incredible 143mph second serve...

Djokovic will play the winner Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev who play for the right to meet the Serb in Sunday's final.

"I expect the toughest match of the tournament regardless of who's going to be across the net," Djokovic said.

"I've achieved a lot but I still feel I have something in my legs left. I still feel I have something left to give to the sport."

Shelton vs Djokovic: Tale of the Tape

Shelton Match Stats Djokovic
5 Aces 5
5 Double Faults 3
60% 1st serve win percentage 84%
47% 2nd serve win percentage 34%
21/39 Net points won 23/26
2/6 Break points won 5/14
30 Total winners 28
43 Unforced errors 25
89 Total points won 112

Henman: Djokovic took advantage of Shelton's inconsistency

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Tim Henman was impressed with how Djokovic limited Shelton's firepower which forced the American into taking more risks

"It's a great number there on first serves won, 84 per cent for Djokovic but if you're limiting Ben Shelton with his firepower there to just 60 per cent of first serve points won - that emphasises how good a returner Djokovic is," Tim Henman told Sky Sports Tennis.

"His unforced error count was much much lower. Inevitably Shelton is going to have to take more risks and that inconsistency was where Djokovic was able to take advantage in the important moments."

Martina Navratilova considers Djokovic to have the "perfect formula", saying: "He has always been professional in his approach to the game from when he was eight and that hasn't changed. He wants to improve, still wants to achieve more and the consistency that he brings to the sport will not be surpassed.

"That's how he plays the game as well, very, very consistent.

"Novak has perfected peaking at the right time. He knows exactly what works for him, what he needs to do."

The US Open on Sky Sports

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Roger Federer has showcased his superb through-the-leg 'tweener' shots on multiple occasions at the US Open

Tennis is back on Sky, adding to the existing sports portfolio and reaffirming the broadcaster as the home of live sport in the UK & Ireland.

Sky Sports' new mixed reality studio features multiple custom built LED screens, integrated light 'sabres', and an open canopy roof, making the space alive with colour and energy to reflect the vibrancy of the last Grand Slam of the year.

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Rafael Nadal hit an incredible shot around net against Marin Cilic in 2019, much to Tiger Woods' delight

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Relive Andy Murray's rollercoaster career at the US Open, which saw him claim his maiden major title in 2012

With integrated AR capabilities, a versatile LED floor, and a 'fourth wall', the viewer will be transported to the Arthur Ashe Stadium in a 360-degree immersive environment. Our tennis experts will take the viewer into the eyes of the players for expert Hawkeye analysis and insight as the tournament progresses.

The technology involved allows us to add an entire new dimension and will bring customers closer to the action.

Highlights of matches will be available across Sky Sports TV and our social media platforms.

Video highlights will also be available of the Sky Sports website and app, where there will also be a daily live text commentary on the Sky Sports website and app, as well as live scores, reports, analysis and features.

Stream the US Open on Sky Sports with NOW. Cancel anytime.

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