Novak Djokovic outclasses Taylor Fritz to reach US Open semi-finals

Novak Djokovic outclasses Taylor Fritz to reach US Open semi-finals

Novak Djokovic is through to the semi-finals – Reuters/Brendan Mcdermid

Novak Djokovic powered into the US Open semi-finals after a ruthless straight-sets win over Taylor Fritz.

With his victory, the Serbian reached the last four of a grand slam for the 47th time, moving him one ahead of Roger Federer’s tally, after a 6-1 6-4 6-4 win.

A demoralised Fritz has now lost all eight matches he has played against Djokovic.

Fritz hit more winners – 33 to Djokovic’s 25 – but he was simply ground down by the 36-year-old, making 51 unforced errors.

He did force 12 break points but converted only two of them, the second of which levelled the third set at 4-4 and prompted Djokovic to react angrily at some of his own supporters, who had called out from one of the executive suites.

But Djokovic immediately hit back, the three-time US Open winner then saving another break point before completing the victory in two hours and 35 minutes to silence a partisan American crowd.

Djokovic said: “It’s expected that people are backing the home player, there’s nothing wrong with that. I like the atmosphere here, I’m fine with that and I thrive on that energy.

“I’ve been playing on this court for many years, played many epic matches, and I’m looking forward to another one in a few days.

“It’s a huge opportunity every time I step out on the court and at my age I don’t know how many more opportunities I’ll get.”

10:02 PM BST

Djokovic gets the crowd to join in a Beastie Boys singalong

09:53 PM BST

Djokovic on his next opponent Frances Tiafoe or Ben Shelton

One thing is for sure, I will enjoy that match from the sofa with my physio and some popcorn and a nice drink – water with lemon. I will put my legs up and try to recover.

I have to be ready for whatever will come my way from the opposite side of the net. Both players are very charismatic and dynamic players. It will be great to watch them play.

09:47 PM BST

Djokovic thanks his family

This is the sport that has given me so much in my life, coming from Serbia, war-torn country when I was growing up, I faced a lot of adversity growing up and I had to endure a lot to even get a shot to travel and play international sport.

I was lucky to encounter some very knowledgeable and passionate people and without their support and my parents, who are here, I wouldn’t be here without their love and incredible sacrifice.

09:43 PM BST

Watch the winning moment for Djokovic

09:38 PM BST

All-time grand slam semi-final record

2. Roger Federer – 46
3. Rafael Nadal – 38
4. Jimmy Connors – 31
5. Ivan Lendl – 28

09:34 PM BST

Djokovic triumphs!

30 matches unbeaten for Djokovic against Americans now. He becomes the oldest US Open semi-finalist since 1991.

It’s his 13th time in the semi-final in New York and a record 47th in grand slams.

He is inevitable.

09:26 PM BST

Djokovic 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 Fritz*

Great first point by Fritz as he finishes the rally with an overhead smash. Djokovic responds with a 122mph ace, 15-15. Fritz gets Djokovic on the run once again with his forehand and Djokovic’s forehand goes long, 15-30. Fritz forehand wide, 30-30. Huge point coming up.

Djokovic doesn’t do enough his sliced backhand approach and Fritz punishes him with a forehand winner down the line, break point. Djokovic finds his first serve when he needed it most and Fritz doesn’t get his return into play.

Djokovic overhead smash winner, match point. Saved by Fritz after Djokovic’s backhand goes long.

Another match point after a great first serve is unreturned. Fritz backhand into the net one last time. GAME SET MATCH DJOKOVIC!

Novak Djokovic vs Taylor Fritz live: Score and latest US Open updates

Novak Djokovic is through to the semi-finals – Getty Images/Sarah Stier

09:17 PM BST

Djokovic* 6-1, 6-4, 5-4 Fritz

Just as Fritz looked like he had some momentum he makes three errors in a row to give Djokovic three break points.

Fritz saves the first. But he falters on next point as his forehand down the line is well wide.

Djokovic will serve for the match next.

09:15 PM BST

Djokovic 6-1, 6-4, 4-4 Fritz*

Chance for Fritz as he gets his forehand into play, whips a shot into the corner and Djokovic’s defensive lob bounces just long, 15-30. This time Fritz goes at Djokovic with his backhand, the Serbia puts up a lob and Fritz easily finishes with an overhead smash, two break points.

Fritz goes for too much with his forehand and miscues it long, 30-40. Fritz backhand wide, Djokovic escapes again!

Djokovic livid. Someone shouted out and it distracted him. That allows Fritz to step in and hit and backhand winner, break point Fritz.

Djokovic forehand error and Fritz does get the break back. Incredibly it seems like the call out came from a Djokovic supporter.

09:06 PM BST

Djokovic* 6-1, 6-4, 4-3 Fritz

Fritz keeps his cool to take the ball out of the air with a drive forehand winner, 30-15. Battle of the forehands ends with Fritz missing wide, 30-30. Their egos took over there.

Great backhand into the corner by Fritz and Djokovic’s reply is into the net. Fritz hits a tame backhand into the net, break point. Djokovic has been targeting that side all day.

Another backhand long by Fritz and Djokovic breaks. This is what Djokovic does. He loves it. It must be so demoralising for his opponents.

08:59 PM BST

Djokovic 6-1, 6-4, 3-3 Fritz*

A slight opening for Fritz as he plays his best rally of the match, pulling Djokovic from side to side and the Serbian hits a defensive forehand long, 15-30. Djokovic starts the point by hitting at Fritz’s backhand but he strikes a short ball, allowing Fritz to get around it and rifle a forehand winner into the corner, 15-40. Djokovic saves the first break point when Fritz nets a backhand.

And the second with a forehand winner. Djokovic roars in the direction of the spectators at the near side who cheered when he missed a first serve.

He’s at it again towards the crowd after Fritz hits a forehand wide. And he raises his fist in defiance after holding serve. I think that was Fritz’s last chance to break…

08:49 PM BST

Djokovic* 6-1, 6-4, 2-3 Fritz

Brilliant court coverage and anticipation from Djokovic as he moves effortlessly into the net and finishes with a backhand volley winner, 0-15. Fritz moves to 30-15 with his third forehand winner of the set. He then hammers down a 123mph wide ace. Djokovic pushes a backhand long and Fritz edges ahead again.

Novak Djokovic vs Taylor Fritz live: Score and latest US Open updates

Novak Djokovic hits a forehand – Getty Images /Mike Stobe

08:46 PM BST

Djokovic 6-1, 6-4, 2-2 Fritz*

Given Djokovic’s struggles around an hour ago, you have to wonder how he would have coped if the floor was fully open.

Another Djokovic service game passes by without a hitch as he continues to gain errors from Fritz’s backhand.

08:42 PM BST

Djokovic* 6-1, 6-4, 1-2 Fritz

111mph wide serve from Fritz, 30-15. The American then hits a cross court backhand that fizzes past Djokovic, 40-15.

Djokovic return goes wide and Fritz maintains his lead in this set.

08:40 PM BST

Djokovic 6-1, 6-4, 1-1 Fritz*

Djokovic holds to 30 rather easily. Fritz is not getting close to breaking Djokovic again.

08:37 PM BST

Third Set: Djokovic* 6-1, 6-4, 0-1 Fritz (*denotes next server)

Both players left the court after the set. Will the mental refresh change Fritz’s fortunes?

He holds to love here with a backhand winner into the open court so he’s made a decent start to the set.

Novak Djokovic vs Taylor Fritz live: Score and latest US Open updates

Taylor Fritz reacts against Novak Djokovic – Getty Images/Al Bello

08:25 PM BST

Djokovic 6-1, 6-4 Fritz*

In next to no time, Djokovic moves to 40-0 and three set points. And he finishes it off with an ace down the T.

He is just too good.

08:21 PM BST

Djokovic* 6-1, 5-4 Fritz

Fritz threatens to smash his racket after spraying a forehand into the tramlines, 30-30. He responds impressively with a 132mph ace. But then he double faults. This has not been a good performance from the world No 9.

However, he finds another ace down the T to make Djokovic serve for the second net next.

08:17 PM BST

Djokovic 6-1, 5-3 Fritz*

Fritz is not able to apply pressure in Djokovic’s service games. The Serbian holds to love easily in less than 90 seconds.

Novak Djokovic vs Taylor Fritz live: Score and latest US Open updates

Novak Djokovic rests between games – Getty Images/Sarah Stier

08:14 PM BST

Djokovic* 6-1, 4-3 Fritz

Fritz attempts a backhand down the line but nets, 30-30. Big point coming up.

Big first serve, short return and Fritz finishes with a forehand winner, 40-30. Fritz closes out another service game after his backhand down the line is well placed in the corner and Djokovic’s reply goes into the net.

08:10 PM BST

Djokovic 6-1, 4-2 Fritz*

Djokovic didn’t call for the doctor at the changeover so whatever physical issues he was dealing with seems to be OK for now.

And he looks like his normal self as he moves to 40-15 with a fizzing forehand winner down the line. Fritz hits a forehand long and Djokovic holds again.

08:05 PM BST

Djokovic* 6-1, 3-2 Fritz

Fritz in his first four matches at the US Open – Won 49 of 50 service games 
Fritz vs. Djokovic – Won 1 of 5 service games so far.

Too good from Fritz as he goes into attack mode with his forehand, take control of the rally and finish with a forehand winner, 30-30.

Djokovic gets Fritz off balance and the American makes a backhand error, deuce. Ace from Fritz to hold.

Make that stat above 2 of 6 service games!

08:00 PM BST

Djokovic 6-1, 3-1 Fritz*

Djokovic seems to be complaining about dizziness and is moving very slowly around the court. Two forehand winners in a row by Fritz and it’s 15-40. The American has to be ruthless in this situation.

Djokovic saves the first break point. Can he save the second? Another brutal baseline rally but Fritz pushes a backhand long to keep himself in the game.

84mph second serve by Djokovic, Fritz moves his feet and hits a cross-court forehand return winner into the corner. Third break point. Djokovic wrong foots Fritz with a forehand winner as the American slips over.

But Fritz rushes Djokovic with a forehand return to earn a fourth break point. Saved again by Djokovic as Fritz’s defensive backhand goes long. Fritz will be kicking himself if he doesn’t break here.

And Djokovic survives, some how as Fritz’s angled forehand bounces wide.

Novak Djokovic vs Taylor Fritz live: Score and latest US Open updates

A view of the partially closed roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium – USA TODAY Sports/Geoff Burke

07:48 PM BST

Djokovic* 6-1, 2-1 Fritz

Djokovic keeps bending down after points, almost as if he’s trying to catch is breath. As I said earlier, it is a very warm day in New York. No sign of a doctor being required. But help is needed for Fritz as he slips to 15-40 in this service game.

Fritz forehand into the net and Djokovic breaks again. He might not be feeling well but his level is still far too much for Fritz, who looks lost. It’s a bit of a mismatch to be honest.

07:44 PM BST

Djokovic 6-1, 2-1 Fritz*

Double fault by Djokovic sees him slip to 0-30. But he recovers to 30-30 with a forehand winner. Fritz return into the net makes 40-30. He has to make Djokovic work harder for his points.

Fritz tries to go down the line with a forehand but the ball lands in the tramlines.

07:39 PM BST

Second Set: Djokovic* 6-1, 0-1 Fritz (*denotes next server)

Must win set for Fritz if he’s to have any chance today. Needs to hold serve here too just to build some momentum.

He gets to 40-0 with a forehand winner and finishes off the game with another forehand winner that catches the baseline.

More shots like that and he might still have a chance today.

07:34 PM BST

Djokovic 6-1 Fritz*

Djokovic is really trying to increase the pain for Fritz by dragging him to the net with drop shots now.

After 41 minutes, Djokovic earns himself two set points. Djokovic gets a short return and hits a forehand but the ball clips the net cord and flies wide. 106mph second serve ace by Djokovic and he takes the set. Masterclass from the Serbian.

Novak Djokovic vs Taylor Fritz live: Score and latest US Open updates

Novak Djokovic in action against Taylor Fritz – Reuters/Brendan Mcdermid

07:30 PM BST

Djokovic* 5-1 Fritz

The last time Djokovic was beaten by an American? Wimbledon 2016 to Sam Querrey. He’s currently on a winning streak of 29 matches.

Another deep return by Djokovic to the feet of Fritz and the ninth seed pulls a forehand wide, break point. Fritz backhand down the line is long and Djokovic breaks again. This is painful for Fritz.

Djokovic to serve for the set.

07:24 PM BST

Djokovic 4-1 Fritz*

Djokovic finally consolidates the break after a brilliant final rally which saw him drag Fritz left and then right before finishing with an overhead match winner.

07:19 PM BST

Djokovic* 3-1 Fritz

When Fritz hits a second serve, Djokovic is all over it, sending the ball back with interest. He is going to need a lot of first serve to stay with Djokovic tonight.

Forehand wide by Fritz gives Djokovic another break point. But Fritz finds a timely first serve ace to stay in the game.

Djokovic decides to attack Fritz’s forehand and gets the error, second break point. Stunning angled volley from Djokovic, Fritz can’t reach the ball in time and Djokovic breaks. It’s already looking like it is going to be a long day on serve for Fritz, who had only been broken once before this match.

Novak Djokovic vs Taylor Fritz live: Score and latest US Open updates

Taylor Fritz reacts against Novak Djokovic – AP/Seth Wenig

07:08 PM BST

Djokovic 2-1 Fritz*

Fritz hits a big forehand and gets Djokovic on the back foot. The Serbian’s defensive backhand is high and Fritz should put away an easy volley but he puts the ball wide, 15-15. Bad miss.

Djokovic double fault, 30-30. His second of the match. Long rally, Fritz is forced to withstand a lot of pressure on his backhand and it’s actually Djokovic’s backhand which cracks first, break point Fritz.

Djokovic changes his angle of attack, going at the Fritz forehand but he puts the ball in the tramlines and gives away the break.

07:02 PM BST

Djokovic* 2-0 Fritz

Deep Djokovic return rushes Fritz, whose forehand reply clips the net and the ball bounces wide, 0-30. Fritz is bravely standing up on the baseline and taking the game to Djokovic and he’s rewarded with a forehand winner into the corner.

Fritz backhand long, break point Djokovic. Djokovic shakes his head in frustration after his return just misses the baseline. Fritz survives for now.

Djokovic attacks Fritz’s backhand and the American’s stroke breaks down, second break point. Fritz backhand long and Djokovic does get the early break. Worst possible start for him.

06:56 PM BST

First Set: Novak Djokovic 1-0 Taylor Fritz* (*denotes next server)

Djokovic serves first as he bids to reach a 47th grand slam semi-final, a record he shares with his great rival Roger Federer.

It’s also 33 degrees with 49 per cent humidity so both players will need to manage their energy levels carefully.

Second serve by Djokovic and Fritz goes after it with a forehand return and draws the error, 30-40. Fritz goes toe-to-toe with Djokovic from the baseline but goes long with a forehand.

Great play by Djokovic with a drop shot, Fritz sprints for it and reaches the ball but Djokovic is there to finish the game with a volley winner.

06:48 PM BST

US Open betting offers and free bets

Take a look at these free bets and betting offers to use throughout the tournament.

06:47 PM BST

Prediction from Tiger Tim Henman

I think Fritz will do well to get a set today.

06:42 PM BST

Roof being closed

It is a very warm day in New York and the tournament officials have opted to partially closed the roof to help keep everyone cool.

06:13 PM BST

Djokovic proved too strong for Fritz a fortnight ago – same again?

Hello and welcome to coverage of the first men’s quarter-final at the US Open as Novak Djokovic plays Taylor Fritz.

Fritz is one of three Americans who are into the last eight but he faces the tough task of beating the 23-time grand slam champion.

“I think the toughest thing is just convincing yourself that it’s, like, just play within yourself,” Fritz said. “I don’t need to find myself trying to hit serves bigger or aiming closer to the lines, stuff like that, because it’s Novak.

“I think I need to play within myself and trust that if I’m playing well, then that’s going to be enough, and I don’t need to kind of do anything extra.

“Novak’s Novak. It’s tough. I said it on court: he’s gotten me seven times. There’s no one on tour that has any kind of a record like that against me, so I’m hoping one of these times I’ve got to get him. US Open quarters would be a pretty good time to get him (smiling).”

Two weeks ago, Djokovic was too strong for Fritz, winning 6-0, 6-4 at the Cincinnati Masters and the Serbian is aware of the qualities his opponent possesses.

He said: “I’m going to get ready obviously for that match as any other match, doing my analytics, watching the last match we had against each other just few weeks ago in Cincinnati where I played a really, really, really good, really solid match, and won in straight sets. I’ll take some positives out of that.

“We know each other’s game pretty well. I’ve played him quite a few times actually in the last couple years. Yeah, big game. Serve and forehand are two biggest weapons, no doubt. But he has improved so much. He’s also playing very well on clay, which maybe wasn’t the case first years of his professional career.

“He’s working hard. He’s got a great coach in his corner. I’m sure he’s going to be very pumped and motivated to win. It’s going to be great atmosphere on the stadium and let’s see what happens.”

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