US Open: Record setting Djokovic advanced to 47th Grand Slam Semi-Finals


Novak Djokovic advanced to his 47th Grand Slam semi-final with a straight-sets triumph over Taylor Fritz on a hot Tuesday at the US Open, while home favourite Coco Gauff remained on track for her first major title.

Djokovic defeated ninth seed Fritz 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 to continue dominating American opponents in New York and advance toward a record-extending 24th men’s Grand Slam victory.

The 36-year-old Serbian star will compete in his 13th US Open semi-final, breaking the record he shared with longtime rival Roger Federer for most appearances in the last four of a Grand Slam.

Djokovic will face up-and-coming Ben Shelton, who defeated 10th seed and 2022 semi-finalist Frances Tiafoe in an all-American match on Tuesday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“I’ve been playing on this court for many years, so many epic matches and I cannot wait for another one in a few days’ time,” said Djokovic, a three-time US Open champion.

Djokovic defeated Fritz for the eighth time in a row, weathering stifling conditions as the temperature topped 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) and humidity rose above 55%.

“It was very humid conditions. Difficult to play but that is why we train and try to get ourselves in the best conditions to deliver. Not easy but you have to fight,” said Djokovic.

To beat Tiafoe 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (9/7), 6-2, Shelton hit 50 winners and used his booming service and scorching forehand to lethal effect.

Shelton, who made the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in January, has advanced to the final four of a major for the first time.

Since 1992, he has been the youngest American men’s semi-finalist in New York.

Shelton, 20, saved a set point while winning a critical third-set tie-break and pulled away in the fourth to complete a historic first Grand Slam quarter-final featuring two African-American men in the Open era.

“It doesn’t get much better than that,” world number 47 Shelton said of a first-time meeting with Djokovic scheduled for Friday.

“I feel like I left it all out here tonight. It was an emotional battle.”

“End of that third set is when I really had to dig deep,” said Shelton.

“I think that was the key for me tonight. Just being tough and being relentless, and knowing that I could go the distance physically no matter how bad it hurt.”

Tiafoe regretted giving Shelton too many chances to stay in the match.

“Leave door open for a lot of guys, you’re playing with fire,” he said. “Just gonna learn from these moments… It hurts now.”

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