Novak Djokovic glides into US Open quarterfinals to face Taylor Fritz

Novak Djokovic is the only thing standing in the way of an American reaching the U.S. Open finals.

It’s the all-time leader in major singles titles and three Americans — No. 9 Taylor Fritz, No. 10 Frances Tiafoe and Ben Shelton — in the bottom half of the draw.

“I think it’s important for a very big and important country in the tennis world, like America is, to have three tennis players from America in the quarterfinals of a Slam,” the second-seeded Djokovic said after he cruised past unseeded Croatian Borna Gojo, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4, in straight sets Sunday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium. “It’s important for this tournament. … It’s great for attention toward tennis, towards the U.S. Open. It’s important that we have American players doing well.”

The last American man to reach the finals in Flushing was Andy Roddick in 2006.

He lost that year to Roger Federer.

Roddick is also the last American to win a major title, at the U.S. Open in 2003.

But if Fritz, Tiafoe or Shelton want to make history, they’ll have to get past the legendary Djokovic first.

In the quarterfinals, Novak Djokovic will face American hopeful Taylor Fritz, who he is 7-0 against.

Fritz gets the first crack at him in the quarterfinals Tuesday with Tiafoe and Shelton facing each other in another quarterfinal.

Fritz has never beaten Djokovic in seven chances, but he is entering the matchup playing very well.

The American hasn’t dropped a set in this tournament.

“I assume there’s going to be more support for Taylor Fritz in our next match. Obviously, eventually if I win, to play Shelton or Tiafoe in the semis [it will be the same in that match],” Djokovic said. “It’s expected. We’re in America playing against home players. It’s something that I would be surprised if it’s otherwise, to be honest. So I know what I’m expecting, and I’m going to get ready for that mentally.”

Djokovic rebounded well Sunday from his close call in the third round against No. 32 Laslo Djere.

The Serbian dropped the first two sets before rallying for the dramatic win.

He didn’t need a rally against Gojo, though.

Taylor Fritz is the only remaining player in the men's bracket that has yet to drop a set.
Taylor Fritz is the only remaining player in the men’s bracket that has yet to drop a set.
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In the 2-hour, 26-minute match, Djokovic was in complete control, losing his serve just once.

He converted five break points and had more than twice as many winners (26) as unforced errors (12).

“I am satisfied. I like how I entered the match today,” he said. “Good intensity, great first set. Obviously I didn’t want to, in a way, repeat the first set or first couple of sets from the third round where I was a little bit flat.”

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