Novak Djokovic, in search of a 24e Grand Slam title to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record, qualified for her thirteenth semi-final at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday at the expense of American Taylor Fritz (9e) 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.
At 36, the Serb will try on Friday to reach the final of the New York Major, which he has won three times, by facing another American, the winner of the match between Frances Tiafoe (10e), semi-finalist last year, and Ben Shelton (47e).
“I’m going to enjoy watching them on television tonight, from my sofa, with my physio, drinks and popcorn, legs in the air to recover, commented the Djoker. It’s going to be great to watch them and we’ll see on Friday what happens,” he commented.
Djokovic became the sole holder of the record of 47 semi-finals played in Grand Slams, now one step ahead of Roger Federer. At Flushing Meadows, only Jimmy Connors did better (14).
He is also the only player to have reached the final four of the four Majors this season (he was already the only one to have reached the quarters four times in 2023).
Despite the heat on Tuesday – or perhaps because of it – Djokovic did not stay long (2:35 a.m.) in the steam room of the Arthur-Ashe court, the roof of which had been half closed to provide shade. in the field.
“I cut my hair and it helped, I was more aerodynamic,” he joked, before becoming serious again. The conditions were very hot and humid, but it was the same for both of us. We train to resist. »
Fritz, who battled five sets against Djokovic in their only previous Grand Slam encounter, in the third round of the 2020 Australian Open as the Serb tore his abs, was never threatening on Tuesday.
He managed to take his opponent’s serve once in the first set to get back to 2-1 after giving up his first throw-in. But subsequently, the games went in favor of Djokovic who scored four in a row to win this first round.
The Serb managed the break of service at the start of the second set and did not let go of his advantage, victoriously defending the four counter-break balls conceded.
In the third set, he broke to lead 4-3, but on a bad service game he allowed Fritz to equalize. He then pocketed the next two games and the match.