Carlos Alcaraz had his reign as US Open champion ended by Daniil Medvedev as the Russian set up another New York final against Novak Djokovic.
The Spanish top seed lost 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 3-6 6-3 to Medvedev, ensuring there will be no repeat of the Wimbledon final between Alcaraz and Djokovic.
Djokovic swatted aside young American Ben Shelton to move within one more win of a record-equalling 24th major title.
The Serb, 36, won 6-3 6-2 7-6 (7-4) to close in on Margaret Court’s tally.
Alcaraz, 20, prevented Djokovic levelling Court when they met at the All England Club in July and Russian third seed Medvedev, who won his sole major at Flushing Meadows two years ago, could do the same on Sunday.
Medvedev regained his composure in a tense finish to serve out victory, taking a fourth match point to win a captivating contest which left most of the 24,000 crowd on Arthur Ashe Stadium on their feet.
Djokovic lost to Medvedev in the 2021 final and was not allowed to enter the United States for last year’s tournament because he was unvaccinated against Covid-19.
However, he has now has reached a 10th US Open final on his return and will aim for a fourth triumph on Sunday.
Djokovic reacted by mimicking Shelton’s celebration of picking up a phone – to indicate he was dialled in – and slamming it down.
“These are the matches and occasions I thrive on, they inspire me every day to keep working as hard as the young guys,” said Djokovic, who, for the third time in his career, has reached every Grand Slam final in a year.
“I still feel I have something left in the legs and something to give to the sport. I couldn’t be happier.”