Djokovic Flies Past Fritz At US Open, Sets Slam SF Record, Shelton Wins; Alcaraz v Zverev, Russians
Novak Djokovic set yet another all-time record today at the US Open, cruising past American No. 1 Taylor Fritz 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 setting a new mark for most Grand Slam semifinals reached at 47, surpassing the tie he shared with Roger Federer.
“Today it was a great test, to see how it feels being on the court, quarterfinals against a top American. Taylor has been playing some great tennis this tournament, I thought,” Djokovic said. “But I was very determined. I had clarity on what I needed to be doing on the court.”
In the scorching afternoon heat, Djokovic blitz Fritz early and never was in trouble against the first-time US Open quarterfinalist who hadn’t dropped a set and only lost serve once en route.
“I am drenched in sweat and I saw Taylor changed shirt a couple of times. It was very humid conditions,” Djokovic said after. “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.”
Djokovic is now 8-0 against Fritz winning 18 of 20 sets. He’s also a perfect 13-0 in US Open quarterfinals.
“It wasn’t there at all. I thought I served awful. It sucks,” said Fritz. “It’s something that, like, everything feels good, the serve is not going in.
“It’s something I have to just get back and work on because it’s not something that I’m used to. My serve has always been pretty automatic for me and confident in it. It’s something new this year that I have been struggling a bit with.”
Djokovic will now take on the surprising Ben Shelton. The American didn’t win consecutive matches since his Australian Open quarterfinal has got the magic back this week winning five matches to reach the semifinals at the US Open.
Shelton came from a break down in the third set and then from a set point down in the breaker to beat Frances Tiafoe 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-2.
Tiafoe came out flat and Shelton powered through. But Tiafoe got back on top and then had control in a wacky third set which saw six breaks. Shelton had a set point serving 6-5 in the breaker but double faulted back-to-back to give Tiafoe a set point. But Shelton would belt a return winner and eventually win the set and never look back
The 20-year-old becomes the youngest American man in the US Open final four since Michael Chang in 1992. It’s also his first tour-level semifinal.
The semifinals will be on Friday.
Tomorrow, the last quarterfinals will see Carlos Alcaraz continuing his title defense against Alexander Zverev. The German is 2-0 against the Spaniard on hard courts and 1-0 in Slams, but that was all before Alcaraz was a Slam winners.
Alcaraz has won 11 straight matches at the US Open. He’s also fresh whereas Zverev has had to battle in his last two matches, going 4 hours, 41 minutes Monday.
Rublev is 0-8 in Slam quarterfinals and with few expecting him to come through now, maybe this will be his time.
“We built our relationship because of tennis, but now it’s already bigger than tennis,” Rublev said of Medvedev. “We’ve known each other since we were six. We have a great relationship. He’s super honest, super relaxed. It’s super easy to communicate with him. Very humble. At the same time, he’s really, really funny. When you spend time with him, you always have fun.”
Said Medvedev: “We’re really close friends… I think we have a great relationship. Even if on the court we’re big competitors, nothing is going to come between us to separate us in real life.”
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