Novak Djokovic was in no mood for another late-night five-setter in New York as he defeated Croatian qualifier Borna Gojo to reach his 13th US Open quarter-final.
Having produced a thrilling comeback from two sets down to defeat fellow Serb Laslo Djere in the third round on Friday, the 36-year-old, who is chasing a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, showed no mercy to opponent Gojo in a comfortable 6-2 7-5 6-4 victory on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“I knew that Borna had a big game, even though we hadn’t faced each other at the tour level,” Djokovic said.
“I was watching him play qualifying and also the last couple of rounds of the main draw and I saw that he has big weapons with his serve and forehand and that he moves pretty well for a big guy.
“One of the keys to the match was to neutralise his serve, try to reduce the number of aces and winners from that shot.”
Djokovic vs Americans
Novak Djokovic is currently on a 29-match winning streak (13-0 in Grand Slam events) against Americans since his last loss to Sam Querrey in the third round of Wimbledon in 2016.
Gojo’s high-risk game did not deliver and he was ultimately undone by 40 unforced errors, which was more than triple that of his opponent’s miserly 12.
Djokovic, chasing a fourth US Open title and a 10th final at Flushing Meadows, will next meet top-ranked American Taylor Fritz, whom he leads 7-0 in meetings.
“Taylor has been an established top 10 player for the past couple of years and he’s been playing some terrific tennis, particularly on home soil in hard-court tournaments here in the States,” Djokovic said.
“He’s improved so much over the years. Obviously the matches will only get tougher from here onwards, and I’m ready for the challenge.”
Fritz is one of three American men who won fourth-round matches, along with Frances Tiafoe and unseeded Ben Shelton.
It is the first time a trio of men from USA have made it to the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows since 2005, when Andre Agassi, James Blake and Robby Ginepri did it.
Shelton blew away fellow American Tommy Paul with the 20-year-old from Atlanta firing down two 149mph serves in one game on his way to a 6-4 6-3 4-6 6-4 win.
The record fastest serve at the US Open is still held by Andy Roddick, who hit a 152mph thunderbolt on his way to the title in 2003 – the last time an American man won their home slam.
Shelton will play 10th seed Frances Tiafoe, guaranteeing an American man in the semi-finals.
Tiafoe beat Australian wild card Rinky Hijikata in straight sets, 6-4 6-1 6-4, while Fritz came through against Swiss Dominic Stricker 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-4.
“That was a battle, a really, physical, tight three sets that really came down to a couple of points here and there. I’ve had a lot of trouble at Slams, and there’s no other place I’d rather do it,” Fritz said.
The US Open is back on Sky Sports
Sky welcomes tennis back to its channels, adding to the existing sports portfolio and reaffirming the broadcaster as the home of live sport in the UK & Ireland.
Sky Sports’ new mixed reality studio features multiple custom built LED screens, integrated light ‘sabres’, and an open canopy roof, making the space alive with colour and energy to reflect the vibrancy of the last Grand Slam of the year.
With integrated AR capabilities, a versatile LED floor, and a ‘fourth wall’, the viewer will be transported to the Arthur Ashe Stadium in a 360-degree immersive environment. Our tennis experts will take the viewer into the eyes of the players for expert Hawkeye analysis and insight as the tournament progresses.
The technology involved allows us to add an entire new dimension and will bring customers closer to the action.
Highlights of matches will be available across Sky Sports TV and our social media platforms.
Video highlights will also be available of the Sky Sports website and app, where there will also be a daily live text commentary on the Sky Sports website and app, as well as live scores, reports, analysis and features.
Stream the US Open on Sky Sports with NOW for just £26 a month for 12 months. Cancel anytime.