Novak Djokovic dipped into his toolbox of veteran’s skills to school American upstart Ben Shelton 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (4) on Friday, reaching another US Open final..

The world No.2 who is now one victory away from history – a 24th Grand Slam singles title – was untroubled by the local hype of the 20-year-old son of a tennis coach as they got down to business on a day of potential rain at Flushing Meadows.

Djokovic will await an opponent for the Sunday final as top seed Carlos Alcaraz faces Daniil Medvedv in a battle of current and former champions.

The 36-year-old Djokovic spent two and three-quarter hours in advancing into the title match, winning in his 100th match at the tournament where he owns three titles.

The match went mainly his way until Shelton rose up in the third to challenge the older player, forcing Djokovic to dig deep and pull out the win on a second match point to reach his 37th final at a Grand Slam.

“These are the matches and conditions I thrive on,” he said. “They are what inspire me to wake up each morning and work as hard as the young guys.

“The motivate me to play my best tennis.

“Playing a US player, I had to hold my nerve and remain composed in the moments that really matter.

“Things were going smoothly in the third set and then he broke me back. It was tough at the end of the third set.

“I’m really pleased with this win today.”

Djokovic is the oldest to play an Open semi since Jimmy Connors – aged 39 – in 1991.

The winner was competing in his 47th Grand Slam semi-final as he made his way into his 10th final here. Djokovic has played in all four finals at the majors this season, winning Australia and Paris and losing a Wimbledon final against Alcaraz

Djokovic maintained his career record of never losing in New York to an American, a streak which has now been extended to 13 victories..

The veteran has won 21 of his last 22 Grand Slam semi-finals since 2015 when he went down at this stage to Dominic Thiem in five sets at 2019 Roland Garros.

Shelton was the first unseeded semi-finalist here since Grigor Dimitrov four years ago.

Djokovic struck first in the opening set under a closed roof closed, with the second seed braking for a 4-2 lead,

But instead of closing out the opener quickly, the Serb was thwarted in the eight game as Shelton saved four set points to hang on, 3-5.

Moments later, Djokovic came good on his fifth chance as his opponent sent a forehand into the net to lose the set after 34 minutes.

In the second, Shelton saved a first break point in the fifth game but sent over a double fault on a second to hand Djokovic a 3-2 lead.

The seed then secured a double break for 5-2 and claimed a two-sets-to-love lead from a service winner on set point.

Djokovic broke to start the third set but slipped as he dropped serve in the eighth game to allow the challenger to square at 4-all

The Serb saved a set point and held for 5-5 then broke for 6-5 with a sizzling cross-court winner which Shelton could not touch. 

Djokovic suddenly faced break points as he tried to finish off the job, with Djokovic firing wide on a match point followed by Shelton taking the set into a tiebreaker after his opponent shanked an overhead into the net.

The veteran finally escaped in the decider, taking a 5-1 lead and closing out the win as he held off a Shelton fightback in the decider.