Djokovic Wins in Straight Sets to Reach U.S. Open Quarterfinals, Will Face American Fritz


Novak Djokovic did not encounter any of the sort of trouble he did in his previous match, eliminating qualifier Borna Gojo 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 on Sunday night to reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals in New York City.

Djokovic — who has won three of his men’s record 23 Grand Slam titles at Flushing Meadows — needed to come back from a two-set deficit in the third round before eventually winning in five against Laslo Djere.

This time, Djokovic played far more cleanly and was in control throughout. He finished with only 12 unforced errors, while Gojo made 40.

Djokovic won five of the big-serving Gojo’s 15 service games while only getting broken once himself.

Next up for Djokovic will be a matchup against No. 9 seed Taylor Fritz, a 25-year-old from California, who is the only remaining player in the men’s bracket to not have dropped a set so far.

Their matchup on Tuesday will be Djokovic’s 13th quarterfinal in New York and Fritz’s first.

Fritz defeated Swiss qualifier Dominic Stricker 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-4 earlier on Sunday.

Djokovic is 7-0 against Fritz, one of three American men who won fourth-round matches, along with No. 10 Frances Tiafoe and unseeded Ben Shelton. It is the first time a trio of men from the United States made it to the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows since 2005, when Andre Agassi, James Blake and Robby Ginepri did it.

The winner of Djokovic vs. Fritz will take on the winner of Tiafoe vs. Shelton in the semifinals.

Tiafoe eliminated Australian wild-card entry Rinky Hijikata 6-4, 6-1, 6-4.

In the day’s first match in Ashe, the 20-year-old Shelton hit a pair of aces at 149 mph (240 kph) — the fastest by anyone all tournament — in a single game and earned a debut trip to the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows by eliminating No. 14 Tommy Paul 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

Fernandez, Townsend keep rolling

Canada’s Leylah Fernandez and American partner Taylor Townsend have advanced in the women’s doubles tournament.

Fernandez and Townsend beat Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic and Croatia’s Donna Vekic 7-6 (3), 6-1 in the Round of 16 on Sunday.

Ottawa’s Gabrielle Dabrowski and New Zealand’s Erin Routliffe, who used to represent Canada, will face the Czech Republic’s Barbora Strycova and Marketa Vondrousova on Monday.

Fernandez and Townsend will face the winner of that match in the women’s doubles quarterfinals.

Although Pliskova and Vekic had four aces to Fernandez and Townsend’s two, they also double faulted seven times to the Canadian-American pairs’ four.

Fernandez and Townsend won 79 per cent of their first serves and 62 per cent of their second serves, taking three of eight break points.

Gauff tops Wozniacki

Coco Gauff is the first American teen since Serena Williams more than two decades ago to reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals two years in a row, so the 19-year-old from Florida knows her way out of trouble on a tennis court.

As the second set slipped away against Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round Sunday at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Gauff needed a chance to think things through after handing over a break with a pair of double-faults and a stumble that left her doing the splits.

So Gauff turned in the direction of the near-constant chatter coming from Brad Gilbert, one of her two coaches sitting in a front-row seat, and said, “Please stop.” A couple of minutes later, Gauff said, “Stop talking.”

That was while Wozniacki was grabbing four consecutive games to go up a break in the third set. And then, just as the match seemed to be slipping away thanks in part to a slew of unforced errors, Gauff straightened out her strokes and pulled way. She collected the last six games for a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Wozniacki, the 33-year-old mother of two who recently came out of retirement.

Her next opponent will be defending champion Iga Swiatek or No. 20 seed Jelena Ostapenko. The top-seeded Swiatek was scheduled to face Ostapenko on Sunday night, after 23-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic met qualifier Borna Gojo.

Gauff, whose best showing at a major was reaching the final at the 2022 French Open before losing to Swiatek, has now won 15 of her past 16 matches.

That run follows a first-round exit at Wimbledon in July and includes the two biggest titles of her career, at the DC Open and in Cincinnati. It also coincides with the additions of Pere Riba as her full-time coach and Gilbert in a role that’s been described as a temporary consultant.

It was the hottest day of the event so far, with the temperature reaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius), and Gauff kept missing the mark in the second set, to the tune of 22 unforced errors. But she cleaned that up considerably down the stretch, with just eight miscues in the last set. Also key in the third: Gauff compiled an 11-2 edge in winners.

In the third set, with the playing surface covered in shadows, Wozniacki told chair umpire Louise Azemar Engzell it was difficult to see the ball and requested that the stadium lights be turned on.

Didn’t happen.

Another women’s quarterfinal matchup will be No. 10 Karolina Muchova against No. 30 Sorana Cirstea.

Muchova, a finalist at Wimbledon in July, reached the U.S. Open quarterfinals for the first time by beating Wang Xinyu 6-3, 5-7, 6-1. Cirstea hadn’t been to the final eight at any major since the 2009 French Open and got back to that round by defeating No. 15 Belinda Bencic 6-3, 6-3.

Source : CBC