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Two years ago, Daniil Medvedev defeated Novak Djokovic in straight sets to win the U.S. Open.
That duo will run it back again in 2023. Both men authored brilliant performances on Friday, with Medvedev defeating top seed Carlos Alcaraz and Djokovic defeating 20-year-old upstart Ben Shelton.
Now they’ll face each other on Sunday at 4 p.m. in New York, with the winner taking home $3 million. The runner-up will win $1.5 million.
Picking a winner is tough here.
Historically, the edge goes to Djokovic, who has won nine of 14 lifetime matches versus Medvedev. All but two of those matches occurred on hard courts (they split the other two).
Djokovic has won four of the last five matches, but Medvedev took the last one in Dubai in straight sets this year. Medvedev obviously won the duo’s lone U.S. Open match.
As far as recent form goes, Djokovic is on fire, winning 12 straight sets. His U.S. Open run looked like it might be over in the Round of 32 after falling behind two sets to none against Laslo Djere, but he roared back for the reverse sweep and proceeded to win his next three matches without dropping a set.
That being written, Medvedev is riding the high of defeating the top player in the world. It wasn’t a fluke by any means, and he overcame a crowd that clearly favored Alcaraz, so much so that the chair umpire repeatedly chastised the crowd and asked them to be fair to both players.
In the end, look for this match to go the distance. As for a winner, it’s hard to go against Djokovic given his legacy. The Serbian will have 24 Grand Slam singles titles with a victory, and he’ll have 36 finalist appearances when he steps on the court Sunday. Look for the legend to emerge victorious once again.
Pick: Djokovic in five sets