Serbian advances to 13th US Open semi-final
Novak Djokovic overcame the heat and Taylor Fritz at the US Open on Tuesday to extend his winning streak against Americans to 30.
The Serbian, who now holds a perfect 13-0 record in quarter-finals in New York, last lost to an American in 2016 when Sam Querrey earned a four-set victory at Wimbledon. Competing in the 34 degree heat on Arthur Ashe Stadium, the 36-year-old was in no mood to relinquish his streak against Fritz, triumphing 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 to improve to 8-0 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series.
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“I am drenched in sweat and I saw Taylor changed shirt a couple of times. It was very humid conditions,” Djokovic said. “Difficult to play for both players. But it is the same for both players and that is why we train. To try and get ourselves in the best possible condition to deliver. It is not easy, but you have to fight.”
World No. 9 Fritz entered his first US Open quarter-final having lost his serve just once all tournament. He was broken six times by Djokovic, however, with the second seed capitalising on the 25-year-old’s 55 per cent first-serve percentage to gain control. The second seed hit with deadly precision and depth in the two-hour, 34-minute clash to clinch his 10th consecutive win, having claimed a record-extending 39th ATP Masters 1000 crown in Cincinnati last month.
The 36-year-old also battled against the humidity on Arthur Ashe Stadium, frequently using his ice towel and taking in salts during changeovers to maintain his conditioning. Despite spending periods of the match bent over, seemingly dizzy, he still found a high level to reach a record-breaking 47th Grand Slam semi-final.
“I like the energy and the atmosphere on the court here. I thrive on that energy, whatever the energy is, use it as a fuel to try and play my best tennis,” Djokovic said. “I have been playing on this court for so many years, so many epic matches. I can’t wait for another one in a few days time.”
The 23-time major champion, who will reclaim No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings on 11 September for a record-extending 390th week regardless of his ultimate result in New York, will meet another American, Frances Tiafoe or Ben Shelton, in the semi-finals.
Djokovic is chasing his fourth title at the hard-court Slam, having triumphed in 2011, 2015 and 2018. The Serbian has earned four straight-set wins this fortnight, but was made to battle against Laslo Djere in the third round, rallying from two sets to love down for the eighth time in his career.
Six-time tour-level titlist Fritz is still searching for his first win at the majors over a Top 10 player after 11 attempts. The American’s best result at this level was a quarter-final run at Wimbledon in 2022. Fritz had his chances against Djokovic in the third set, but failed to capitalise in the key moments. He converted just one of his six break point chances in the set and was broken back after levelling at 4-4.
Did You Know?
Djokovic, who has won 23 of his past 24 matches, is one win away from reaching the final at all four majors in the same year for the third time in his career (2015, ’21). He is also trying to win three Slams in the same year for the fourth time (2011, ’15, ’21).
Originally published at ATP Tour
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