The Sun (Malaysia)
No go for Gojo
Djokovic cruises into US Open quarters as Fritz lies in wait
NOVAK DJOKOV IC swept past Croatia’s Borna Gojo in straight sets yesterday to book his place in the quarterfinals of the US Open.
The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion outclassed world No. 105 Gojo to win 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 in 2hr 26min on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court.
Djokovic will now face American ninth seed Taylor Fritz today (midnight Malaysian time) for a place in the semifinals as he chases a record-extending 24th Grand Slam title.
The 36-year-old Serbian star had been given a scare in the third round on Saturday, forced to recover from a twoset deficit before beating compatriot Laslo Djere in five sets.
But there never looked like any chance of Gojo causing Djokovic similar difficulties yesterday, with the Croatian earning just one break point throughout the match.
Djokovic made only 12 unforced errors throughout the match compared to Gojo’s tally of 40, and broke his opponent five times on his way to a clinical victory.
“I knew that Borna has a big game… he’s a big shot player, serve and forehand, big weapons, and moves pretty well for a big guy,” said Djokovic after reaching his 13th US Open quarterfinal.
“The key to match was to try and neutralise his serve. Just glad to get through in straight sets.”
Djokovic is meanwhile looking forward to the challenge of facing Fritz in the last eight today.
“(Fritz) has been playing some terrific tennis, particularly on home soil here in the States,” added Djokovic, who was won all seven of his previous encounters with Fritz.
“Obviously the matches are going to get tougher from here onwards and I’m ready,” he added. “It’s going to be great.”
Fritz knows he’ll have to rewrite the record books against Djokovic in order to keep his US Open dream alive.
The 25-year-old became the third American to reach the men’s quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows after a straight-sets win over Swiss qualifier Dominic Stricker.
His reward for a 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 6-4 victory against the world No. 128 is another crack at Djokovic, who has won all seven meetings including a one-sided affair in Cincinnati last month.
“Novak’s Novak. It’s tough. I said it on court: he’s gotten me seven times,” said Fritz.
“There’s no one on tour that has any kind of a record like that against me, so I’m hoping one of these times I’ve got to get him. US Open quarters would be a pretty good time to get him.
“I think the toughest thing is just convincing yourself that it’s, like, just play within yourself,” he added.
“I don’t need to find myself trying to hit serves bigger or aiming closer to the lines, stuff like that, because it’s Novak.
“I think I need to play within myself and trust that if I’m playing well, then that’s going to be enough, and I don’t need to kind of do anything extra.” – AFP