Novak Djokovic didn’t struggle as much as his last game, knocking out qualifier Borna Gojo in straight sets 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 on Sunday at the US Open.
Djokovic, who has won three of his 23 Grand Slam titles at Flushing Meadows, needed to erase a two-set deficit in the third round against Laslo Djere.
This time, Djokovic played much more efficiently. He only committed 12 unforced errors compared to 40 for Gojo.
“I’m just proud to have won in three rounds,” said Djokovic, who is already guaranteed to replace Carlos Alcaraz at No. 1 in the ATP rankings next week.
Djokovic won five of Gojo’s 15 serving games and was broken only once.
Djokovic will now face ninth-seeded American Taylor Fritz, who is the only player still in the title race who has not lost a set during the tournament.
“Taylor has improved greatly over the years,” Djokovic observed. Obviously, the matches will get more and more difficult. I’m ready. »
Earlier in the evening, Fritz completed the first trio of American players to reach the quarters since Andre Agassi, James Blake and Robby Ginepri in 2005.
Fritz got the better of Swiss qualifier Dominic Stricker in three sets of 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-4.
Before him, the Americans Ben Shelton and Frances Tiafoe qualified for the quarter-finals.
The 20-year-old Shelton hit 16 aces en route to a 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory over compatriot Tommy Paul.
Paul defeated Shelton in four sets at this year’s Australian Open in the quarter-finals.
Shelton prevailed 36-25 in winning shots. Two of his serves reached 239 kilometers per hour.
“I think it was purely adrenaline,” Shelton told the crowd after the game at Arthur Ashe Stadium. It was just in this kind of atmosphere that I could do it. »
Shelton was the 2022 NCAA champion, with the University of Florida.
It’s Tiafoe, 10e seeded player who will be his opponent in the next round. The American got the better of the Australian Rinky Hijikata in three sets of 6-4, 6-1, 6-4.
Muchova and Gauff continue their journey
In the women’s category, Karolina Muchova reached the quarter-finals by winning 6-3, 5-7 and 6-1 against Wang Xinyu.
This is the longest journey in New York for the Czech, 10th seed.
Muchova reached the final at Roland Garros three months ago, losing in three sets to Iga Swiatek.
Muchova also reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open in 2021.
She hit 32 winners, counterbalancing 37 unforced errors. Her rival made 42 unprovoked errors.
“I was faithful to my game, with several brushed shots to change the rhythm,” Muchova told the audience at Louis Armstrong Stadium. That was the key. »
Her next rival will be Sorana Cirstea, who dismissed Belinda Bencic 6-3, 6-3.
Sixth-seeded American Coco Gauff struggled against Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki but rebounded after a tough second set to triumph 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.
Gauff became the first American teenager since Serena Williams more than two decades ago to reach the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows in back-to-back years.
In 2022, Gauff lost to Caroline Garcia in the quarterfinals. This time, she will have on her way the favorite Iga Swiatek or her opponent, the 20e top seed Jelena Ostapenko.
Gauff has won 15 of her last 16 games and she recently won the two most important titles of her career, in Washington and Cincinnati. The American polished her game in the third set on the hottest day of the tournament so far.
“She has always been a great athlete. She has the backhand, the service, the fighting spirit, Wozniacki argued. I feel like right now everything seems to be in place for her. »
Wozniacki, the 2018 Australian Open champion and two-time runner-up in New York, was ultimately unable to go head-to-head with Gauff in the final set.
“She’s back and it’s like she never left the circuit,” Gauff said. To be on the court today and to play against her was an honor. »
Swiatek and Ostapenko will do battle to close the evening’s singles program.