New York | Djokovic cruises into S/F to face a surprise opponent.

The three-time US Open champion, Novak Djokovic, eased into the semi-finals of the fourth and last major of the season, by scoring a 6-1 6-4 6-4 win over the host’s No.1 player, Taylor Fritz (9).

It was very humid conditions, Difficult to play for both players. But it is the same for both players and that is why we train Novak Djokovic

It will be the Serbian’s 47th Grand Slam semi-final, as he overtakes Roger Federer to set a new record in his chase for a fourth Big Apple crown which would improve his overall record to 24. singles titles at Grand Slam level.

“Today it was a great test, to see how it feels being on the court, quarter finals against a top American. Taylor has been playing some great tennis this tournament, I thought,” Djokovic said in his post-match on-court interview. “But I was very determined. I had clarity on what I needed to be doing on the court.”

In the scorching afternoon heat, Djokovic took control early and never really looked in trouble until the last few games when he was finally broken by Fritz as he was serving at 4-3 and had to save breakpoints when serving at 5-4 in the third.

“I am drenched in sweat and I saw Taylor changed shirt a couple of times. It was very humid conditions,” Djokovic added. “Difficult to play for both players. But it is the same for both players and that is why we train. To try and get ourselves in the best possible condition to deliver. It is not easy, but you have to fight.”

Fritz who has now lost all eight of his meetings with Djokovic, wasn’t impressed with his own performance.

“It wasn’t there at all. I thought I served awful. It sucks,” the American No.1 said. “It’s something that, like, everything feels good, (but) the serve is not going in.

“It’s something I have to just get back and work on because it’s not something that I’m used to. My serve has always been pretty automatic for me and confident in it. It’s something new this year that I have been struggling a bit with.”

Ben Shelton becomes the youngest American to reach the semis since 1992

(Photo by Frey/TPN/Getty Images)

Djokovic will now take on another American, the unseeded Ben Shelton who caused the upset of the round by ousting his compatriot, the 10th seeded Frances Tiafoe 6-2 3-6 7-6(7) 6-2.

The 20-year-old from Atlanta, Georgia, had not been able to string together a serious run of wins since reaching the last eight at the Australian Open but in New York, his touch has returned as he took out his second seeded player having beaten Tommy Paul (14) in the fourth round.

Shelton recovered from a break down in the third set and then saved a set point in the breaker to set up his meeting with Djokovic.

“I felt like I left it all out here tonight. It was an emotional battle,” Shelton said on court after the match.

In the first career semi-final at Grand Slam level, Shelton becomes the youngest American man in the US Open final four since Michael Chang in 1992.

On Thursday, the final two quarter final matches will be contested with the semi-finals scheduled for Friday.

The reigning champion Carlos Alcaraz continues his title defence against Alexander Zverev who holds a 3-0 record against the 20-year-old Spaniard.

Alcaraz though has won 11 straight matches at the US Open and will be fresher when they meet this time round considering Zverev has, in his last two matches, been kept on court for 8-hours and 23-minutes!

First up though, is an all-Russian affair pitting Daniil Medvedev (3) against Andrey Rublev (8) for the eighth time. Medvedev currently leads his compatriot 5-2 and has won on both occasions they have met at the quarter final stage of a Grand Slam.

The pair are great friends but rivals on court and the outcome of a Rublev victory is unlikely as he has yet to reach the semis of a Grand Slam having made the quarters eight times.

Ben Shelton is congratulated by his quarter final victim, compatriot Frances Tiafoe

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)



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