Novak Djokovic has moved within two wins of the first calendar-year Grand Slam in men’s tennis since 1969 by beating Matteo Berrettini 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 to reach the U.S. Open semifinals.
Djokovic’s victory makes him 26-0 in major tournaments this season. That includes trophies at the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon, where he beat Berrettini in the final.
Djokovic next will face 2020 U.S. Open runner-up and Olympic gold medalist Alexander Zverev on Friday. Djokovic holds a 6-3 all-time edge over Zverev, though Zverev won the last match the two played at the Tokyo Olympics.
If Djokovic can win that match and Sunday’s final, he will earn his 21st career major singles trophy and break the men’s record he shares with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
A win at the 2021 U.S. Open would also mark one of the rarest feats in tennis — the calendar-year Grand Slam. Only three men have ever won the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in a single calendar year, the last being Rod Laver in 1969.
Several players, including Djokovic, have won four consecutive slams over the span of two seasons. Djokovic accomplished that feat in 2015-16.