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Djokovic path to calendar Grand Slam runs through Olympic champ

/ 05:04 AM August 28, 2021
Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic is a solid favorite in the men’s draw. —AFP

NEW YORK—Novak Djokovic could face a Wimbledon final rematch with Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in a US Open quarterfinal and meet Olympic champion Alexander Zverev in the semifinals in his bid to complete a calendar-year Grand Slam in New York.

Under a men’s singles draw released on Thursday by the US Tennis Association, the 34-year-old Serbian top seed was placed in a draw quarter that could see him meet Australian fourth seed Alex de Minaur in the fourth round.

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The 20-time Grand Slam winner then could see sixth-seeded Berrettini in the quarterfinals and, if seed form holds, face German fourth seed Zverev in the semifinals.

Zverev was last year’s US Open runnerup to Austrian Dominic Thiem, who is injured and will not defend his crown when the hardcourt showdown begins on Monday.

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Topping the other half of the draw opposite Djokovic is Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev with Greek third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and Russian sixth seed Andrey Rublev next. Rublev and Tsitsipas could meet in a quarterfinal.

World No. 1 Djokovic is trying to become the first man to sweep all four Grand Slam singles titles in the same year since Rod Laver in 1969.

He’s also trying to become the all-time men’s leader in Grand Slam singles crowns, sharing the mark of 20 with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who will both miss the New York fortnight with injuries.

Federer is battling a knee injury while Nadal has a nagging left foot injury.

Meanwhile, defending champion Naomi Osaka could meet second seed Aryna Sabalenka in a US Open semifinal while top-ranked Ashleigh Barty might have a Wimbledon final rematch with Karolina Pliskova under a women’s draw also revealed on Thursday. —AFP

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TAGS: Grand Slam, Novak Djokovic, US Open quarterfinal, Wimbledon
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