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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday September 8, 2021

Novak Djokovic is all about gunning for the Calendar Slam. The World No.1 continued that quest on Wednesday night in New York by taking out Matteo Berrettini in four sets, 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.

Tennis Express

Just don’t ask Djokovic to talk about it too much. He’s much more concerned with simplifying his mission and taking it match by match.

After his victory he was asked about the Calendar Slam on court, but told ESPN’s Patrick McEnroe that he preferred just to think about his next match, which will come against Germany’s Alexander Zverev in the semifinals.

Djokovic was asked about it again in his post-match press conference, and explained why he doesn’t went to spend too much time talking about the subject.

“I've been getting that question quite a lot recently, which is understandable,” he said. “But I had enough of answering that. I just said millions of times that of course I'm aware of the history, of course it gives me motivation. If I start to think about it too much, it burdens me mentally. I want to really go back to the basics and what really works for me mentally.


It’s a wise decision by Djokovic to keep his mind free of distraction. The only way he can achieve this incredible milestone is by taking it one match at a time. He’s done that effectively throughout 2021, winning all 26 matches he has played at the majors, including nine in which he dropped the opening set.

“Again, I'm in a position that is very unique,” he said. “I'm very grateful for that. I'm inspired to play my best tennis. But I know what works for me to win just the next match. So that's the reason why I stopped Patrick. I hope he doesn't mind. I know that a lot of people want to hear me talking about it. But let's talk about it hopefully on Sunday.”


Zverev Next

Speaking of Sunday, Djokovic will get ready for his biggest challenge at this year’s US Open when he faces the man who ended his quest for the Golden Slam at the Tokyo Games. But Djokovic still owns a 6-3 record over Zverev, which includes 2-0 at the Slams.

“I know it's going to be battle, even harder than it was today,” he said. “But I'm ready for it. Look, these are the hurdles that I need to overcome in order to get to the desired destination. Result is something that I can't predict, but I can definitely put myself in the best possible state of mind and body to perform as well as I can.”

Djokovic believes it will come down to mental toughness, and a few important points.

“I know his game,” he said. “As I said, I know his game very well. I've seen him play. He's been playing very, very well. Again, semis. When we face each other, there's nerves, a lot of things on the line. It could go both ways. I think very few points will really determine the winner there. Let's see what happens.”

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