Novak Djokovic shrugged off stifling heat and Taylor Fritz 6-1 6-4 6-4 to breeze into the US Open semi-finals yesterday and stay on course for a fourth Flushing Meadows crown that would see him match Margaret Court’s record haul of 24 Grand Slams.
With temperatures once again nudging towards 100 Fahrenheit (38 Celsius), Djokovic turned in a cool, clinical effort, improving his record against American opposition at the US Open to a perfect 12-0.
On a baking hot day, 19-year-old Coco Gauff had warmed up the Arthur Ashe crowd, blasting past Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko 6-0 6-2 to become the youngest American to reach the US Open semi-finals since Serena Williams in 2001.
But Fritz could not keep the party going, although the 25-year-old had his opportunities but could convert only two of 12 break chances while committing 51 unforced errors, almost double his opponent’s 26.
Fritz had lost all seven career meetings with Djokovic and never beaten a top-10 opponent at a Grand Slam but rolled into the quarter-finals in sensational form, the only player to not drop a set and broken only once in 50 service games.