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Djokovic Cranks Up Intensity to Defeat Fritz, Advance to US Open Semifinals


LAHORE MIRROR — In a scorching U.S. Open showdown, Novak Djokovic overcame the stifling heat and Taylor Fritz to effortlessly secure a spot in the semi-finals with a score of 6-1, 6-4, 6-4. Djokovic’s relentless pursuit of a fourth U.S. Open title puts him on the brink of matching Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam victories.

Despite the mercury inching towards a sweltering 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius), Djokovic maintained his composure, extending his perfect record to 12-0 against American opponents at the U.S. Open.

While Taylor Fritz’s Grand Slam journey came to a close, the United States is guaranteed representation in the men’s semi-finals. An all-American clash between Frances Tiafoe and Ben Shelton on Arthur Ashe awaited, with Djokovic eagerly anticipating the winner for a chance to secure a spot in Sunday’s final.

Djokovic commented on the enthusiastic home crowd support, saying, “It’s expected, of course, that people are backing the home player, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I actually like the energy, like the atmosphere on center court here. Day sessions, night sessions, people are getting into it. I’m fine with that. I thrive on that energy and try to use it as fuel. I’ve been playing on this court for so many years, so many epic matches. I can’t wait for another one in a few days.”

Earlier in the day, 19-year-old Coco Gauff ignited the Arthur Ashe crowd with an impressive performance, defeating Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko 6-0, 6-2. Gauff’s achievement marked her as the youngest American to reach the U.S. Open semi-finals since Serena Williams in 2001.

However, Fritz was unable to continue the American momentum, despite having several opportunities. He converted only two of 12 break chances and committed 51 unforced errors, nearly double his opponent’s count of 26. Djokovic acknowledged the challenging conditions, stating, “Very humid conditions, difficult to play for both players, but that’s why we train, try to get ourselves in the best possible conditions to deliver. Not easy, but you’ve got to fight. As the song went that they played here five minutes ago, you’ve got to fight for your right to party.”

Fritz had never managed to secure a victory in his seven previous encounters with Djokovic and had never defeated a top-10 opponent at a Grand Slam event. Despite Fritz’s strong form leading up to the quarter-finals, Djokovic swiftly ended his streaks, breaking the American three times and sealing the first set with a powerful ace.

Fritz did manage to hold serve to begin the second set but found himself under pressure once again, with Djokovic breaking him a fourth time to take a 2-1 lead and eventually securing the set with another emphatic ace.

Although Fritz displayed more resilience in the third set, he couldn’t mount a comeback. Djokovic secured the decisive break at 5-4 and held serve to maintain his perfect record of 13-0 in U.S. Open quarter-finals.

Reflecting on his missed opportunities, Fritz stated, “I had the chances in the third. I started playing some pretty good points… I didn’t take my chances. He was solid, and I didn’t perform well enough on a lot of the big points.”

Source: Reuters