Novak Djokovic mocks Ben Shelton's 'dialed in' celebration after US Open SF win, American responds with frosty handshake and cold stare at net

Novak Djokovic beat Ben Shelton in the US Open semifinals
Novak Djokovic beat Ben Shelton in the US Open semifinals

Novak Djokovic got himself involved in a bit of drama as he mocked Ben Shelton's celebration after beating him in the semifinals of the 2023 US Open.

In some of his recent matches, Shelton has been pretending to pick up a phone before hanging it up. The celebration became synonymous with the American after his quarterfinal win over 10th seed and fellow countryman Frances Tiafoe.

Shelton faced Djokovic for the very first time during their final-four fixture on the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday. The Serb was dominant at the start of the match and took the first two sets 6-3, 6-2.

Shelton showed some resistance in the third set, and even had a set point. However, Djokovic saved it and went on to win 7-6(4) to book his place in the US Open final for the ninth time in his career.

After winning the final point, Djokovic mocked the 20-year-old's celebration by doing exactly what he did after beating Tiafoe i.e. pretending to pick up the phone and then hanging up. The two then had a seemingly frosty post-match handshake, where Shelton was seen staring coldly at Djokovic for a second.

Novak Djokovic's victory over Ben Shelton means that he has reached the final of all four Grand Slams this year. This is the third time the Serb has attained this feat, having earlier done so in 2015 and 2021.

Novak Djokovic will face either Carlos Alcaraz or Daniil Medvedev in US Open final

Novak Djokovic during his US Open semifinal against Ben Shelton
Novak Djokovic during his US Open semifinal against Ben Shelton

After beating Ben Shelton 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(4), Novak Djokovic will next face either top seed Carlos Alcaraz or third seed Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final.

The Serb has already faced Alcaraz thrice so far this season, beating him in the semifinals of the French Open and more recently, the final of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. The Spaniard, however, beat Djokovic 1-6, 7-6(6), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 in a thrilling Wimbledon final that lasted for over five hours.

Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev have locked horns on 14 occasions, with the former leading the head-to-head 9-5. The two have faced one another twice previously this season, with the Serb winning 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinals of the Adelaide International 1 and the Russian triumphing 6-4, 6-4 in the final four of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

If Djokovic wins the US Open final, he will bag a record 24th Grand Slam singles title, which will be a new record for the Open Era.

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Edited by Shyam Kamal
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