Novak Djokovic made it through to the US Open semi-finals for the 13th time in his career after extinguishing the challenge of American No 1 Taylor Fritz on Tuesday.
Djokovic passed Roger Federer by reaching a 47th Grand Slam semi-final and he also became the first man in ATP rankings history to record 250 career wins over top-10 players as he eased to a 6-1 6-4 6-4 victory against Fritz on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The ninth seed hit more winners – 33 to Djokovic’s 25 – but he was simply ground down by the 36-year-old with a grand total of 51 unforced errors telling its own story.
The 26-year-old Serbian also becomes the oldest semi-finalist at Flushing Meadows since Jimmy Connors (39) in 1991.
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.”
Djokovic, chasing a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, will face another American in the semi-finals with Frances Tiafoe in action against fellow countryman Ben Shelton later on Tuesday.
How Djokovic made the semi-finals…
With temperatures once again nudging towards 38 Celsius, Djokovic turned in a cool, clinical effort, improving his record against American opposition at the US Open to a perfect 12-0.
After easing through the first two sets, Fritz levelled the third set at 4-4 which only prompted Djokovic to shoo some of his own supporters out of one of the executive suites.
But the Serb immediately hit back, the three-time winner then saving another break point before completing the victory in two hours and 35 minutes to silence a partisan American crowd.
Fritz vs Djokovic: Tale of the Tape
|73%||1st serve win percentage||68%|
|28%||2nd serve win percentage||57%|
|2/12||Break points won||6/9|
|81||Total points won||102|
Djokovic later revealed he did not know the identity of the spectator he had gestured to leave the box, after admitting the man put him off by yelling during a point.
“Yeah. Yeah, he did. He was actually in the box where some of my friends were,” added Djokovic.
“I don’t know who the guy was, but yeah, I was pretty annoyed by him at that point. I was communicating with my friends to have a little chat with him.”
Henman: How Djokovic broke down Fritz’s second serve
Sky Sports analyst Tim Henman looks at how Djokovic neutralised Fritz’s second serve and broke down his opponent to make it through to the semi-finals.
Top 5 points
The US Open on Sky Sports
Sky welcomes tennis back to its channels, adding to the existing sports portfolio and reaffirming the broadcaster as the home of live sport in the UK & Ireland.
Sky Sports’ new mixed reality studio features multiple custom-built LED screens, integrated light ‘sabres’, and an open canopy roof, making the space alive with colour and energy to reflect the vibrancy of the last Grand Slam of the year.
With integrated AR capabilities, a versatile LED floor, and a ‘fourth wall’, the viewer will be transported to the Arthur Ashe Stadium in a 360-degree immersive environment. Our tennis experts will take the viewer into the eyes of the players for expert Hawkeye analysis and insight as the tournament progresses.
The technology involved allows us to add an entirely new dimension and will bring customers closer to the action.
Highlights of matches will be available across Sky Sports TV and our social media platforms.
Video highlights will also be available on the Sky Sports website and app, where there will also be a daily live text commentary on the Sky Sports website and app, as well as live scores, reports, analysis and features.