Tennis great Martina Navratilova has claimed the consistency that Novak Djokovic brings to tennis “will not be surpassed” after the Serb reached the 2023 US Open final.
The 18-time Grand Slam singles champion lauded the 36-year-old for perfecting “peaking at the right time” and declared he has “the perfect formula.”
Djokovic dispatched 20-year-old American Ben Shelton 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(4) in the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows on Friday. He has now reached an Open Era record 10 finals at the hard-court major in New York, as well as a record 36 Grand Slam finals overall.
The world No 2, who will reclaim top spot from Carlos Alcaraz next week, will face Daniil Medvedev in the final on Sunday.
Victory would see Djokovic win a fourth US Open crown and 24th major title to tie the all-time record held by Margaret Court.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Navratilova praised Djokovic’s approach to tennis and broke down why he continues to be so consistent.
“He has always been professional in his approach to the game from when he was eight years old 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,” said the Czech-American.
“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.
“His game is so solid, technique is so solid. He plays his way into form during the tournament. Physically and emotionally he knows exactly how to manage himself.
“Novak’s been here so many times that emotionally he knows what’s coming, mentally he knows what’s coming, it’s just a matter of staying injury free and the game will be there. He has the perfect formula.”
Former world No 4 Tim Henman also addressed the remarkable season the Serbian legend is having and feels Sunday’s final is a big opportunity.
“It’s the consistency in the big events. He goes into the Australian Open and he wins it. On clay his form was pretty patchy but once he got to Roland Garros it was a different kettle of fish. He won that,” reflected the Brit.
“Played so well on grass it took an incredible performance from Alcaraz to beat him in the [Wimbledon] final, and here he is rounding off the quartet, but what an opportunity he has in the final.”
This is the third season of Djokovic’s career where he has reached the finals at all four Grand Slam events – after 2015 and 2021.
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