Novak Djokovic Fries Fritz and Sets 30-0 Record Against Americans At US Open - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Fries Fritz and Sets 30-0 Record Against Americans At US Open

The Serbian was in scintillating form and sent out a major message as he reached an unprecedented 47th Slam Semi.

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By Anshu Taneja

What do these names have in common? John Isner, Frances Tiafoe, Sebastian Korda, Tommy Paul…well let’s stop there for now. Figured it out? Yes, they’re all Americans, and they’re just some of the top players from the United States to have been pummelled by Novak Djokovic as he continues to set, make, break, and smash every tennis record you can think of.

No American has beaten Novak Djokovic since Sam Querry in the third round of Wimbledon in 2016. Let that sink in for a moment.

By taking apart American number one Taylor Fritz – yet again – in straight sets 6-1, 6-4, 6-4, he also set a record of 47 Grand Slam semi-final appearances. To put that in perspective: that is almost twelve years of unrivalled consistency of reaching the latter stages of the Grand Slams when mere mortals would simply be content with a dozen healthy years on the tour. 

“I was very lucky to encounter some very knowledgeable, very passionate people that supported me, believed in my talent and without them, without their support–my parents are here–I wouldn’t be here,” said Djokovic.
“That’s the long answer of what goes through my head when I hear these numbers–there are a lot of things that I’m very grateful for. Obviously it’s a huge opportunity every single time I step out on the court at this age and this stage of my life, I don’t know how many more opportunities I’ll get so I’m trying to enjoy as much as I can.”

Tuesday’s match-up at the US Open featured an in-form Fritz against the super Serb but with a dreadful head-to-head record of 0-7 in which he had only ever won two sets, in one match. Every other encounter ended in a straight sets defeat and today’s contest was no different with Djokovic copying the same playbook that had served him so well before, namely taking his returns as early as possible and avoiding Fritz’s frightening forehand. 

Even though he lost serve once in the opening set on a hot and humid Arthur Ashe Stadium, Djokovic broke the Fritz serve three times to take a one set lead in 43 minutes. Fritz applied more pressure in the second and tried to make it more competitive but could not take advantage of his breakpoints, constantly struggled with winning points on his second serve and was again broken to go two sets down.

When Djokovic, who will regain the top-ranking next week after this tournament, broke serve to go 4-3 up in the third, the result looked a formality, but in the next game he became distracted when someone from the crowd yelled out during a point and he lost serve moments later. With the score now 4-4, this was Fritz’s big moment against an irate Djokovic, but instead went 0-40 down and lost serve himself. Djokovic served out and ended the match with 25 winners while Fritz was at an alarming 28% for points won on second serves.

“I like the energy and the atmosphere on the court here. I thrive on that energy, whatever the energy is, use it as a fuel to try and play my best tennis,” Djokovic said. “I have been playing on this court for so many years, so many epic matches. I can’t wait for another one in a few days time.”

And so, Djokovic breaks another Roger Federer record by reaching the most Grand Slam semi-finals, where – predicably – he will face another American for a place in the US Open Final on Sunday. 

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Iga Swiatek beats Emma Raducanu to extend her winning streak to ten consecutive matches in Stuttgart

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Two-time defending champion Iga Swiatek held off 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 after 2 hours and 3 minutes to extend her winning streak to 10 consecutive matches at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart. 

Swiatek set up a semifinal match against 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, who came back from a break down in the third set to beat this year’s Dubai champion Jasmine Paolini.

Raducanu came back from 0-40 down to earn the first break of the opening set. Swiatek converted her third break point in the second game in a seven-deuce second game. Raducanu saved the only other break point at deuce in the sixth game. Swiatek won the first four points and five of the first six points to win the tie-break 7-2. 

Swiatek earned five break points in the second, sixth and in the 12thgame, but she converted only one opportunity. Raducanu converted her only break point in the first game. Swiatek won nine more points than Swiatek. 

Swiatek broke Raducanu in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead. This break was decisive, as both players held on their next serve in their next games. 

Swiatek earned six break points in the third, fifth and ninth games, but she converted one chance. The Pole did not face a single break point and won eight more points than Raducanu.

“Raducanu started playing at the beginning pretty loose, like she had nothing to lose, and I totally get that. Sometimes it is like that. I knew I was questioning if she is going to be able to keep the same intensity throughout the whole match. It was not about service games or return games. I was just waiting for my chances to break back and I was sure that I am going to get them”, said Swiatek.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Sebastian Ofner in Barcelona to extend his winning streak

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Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Sebastian Ofner 6-4 7-5 at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell to extend his winning streak to seven consecutive matches after claiming his third title at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters last week. 

Tsitsipas earned an immediate break in the first game. Ofner broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. Tsitsipas earned his second break  in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and served out the first set 6-4 with a hold at 15. 

Tsitsipas broke in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner won three consecutive games with two breaks of serve to take a 5-3 lead. Tsitsipas came back by winning four consecutive games with two breaks of serve to seal the second set 7-5.

Tsitsipas has a record of 17 wins to 5 defeats in Barcelona. The Greek player reached three finals at this tournament in 2018, 2021 and 2023.  

“I feel pretty good, but it is still early in the tournament. The conditions here are very different to Monte-Carlo and I felt it today when I was playing. My job is to adapt and to ensure I can bring my A game again in Barcelona this week. Today was a great test to see where I stand. I am hoping to keep on improving and getting good wins like this under my belt”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitssipas set up a third round match against Roberto Carballes Baena, who beat Lorenzo Musetti 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in 2 hours and 15 minutes. 

Musetti saved three break points in the first game of the opening set. The Italian player earned two break points with a backhand down the line. Musetti saved two break points in the seventh game. Both players went on serve un the 12th game when Carballes Baena saved a set point. Carballes Baena went up a 5-1 lead with two mini-breaks in the tie-break. Musetti won three consecutive points to reduce to 4-5. Carballes Baena won the final two points to take the tie-break 7-4. 

Carballes Baena converted his fourth break point in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Musetti broke back in the fifth game. Carballes Baena saved a break point in the sixth game. The Spanish player sealed the win with a break on his second match. 

Last week’s Monte-Carlo finalist Casper Ruud beat Alexandre Muller 6-3 6-4 to claim his 25th tour-level win of the season. Ruud has drawn level with Jannik Sinner for the most wins in 2024 on the ATP Tour. 

Ruud set up a third round match against Jordan Thompson, who beat Jaume Munar 6-4 2-4 6-4. Roberto Bautista Agut beat Andrea Vavassori 4-6 6-4 6-1 to claim his milestone 400th match win on the ATP Tour. Bautista Agut set up a third round match against Cameron Norrie. 

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Roberto Bautista Agut wins his milestone 400th match on the ATP Tour

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Roberto Bautista Agut came back from one set down to beat Australian Open doubles finalist Andrea Vavassori 4-6 6-3 6-1 after 2 hours and 1 minute at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. 

Vavassori earned an early break in the first game. The Italian player earned three break points in the seventh game, but Bautista Agut saved them. The Spanish player broke straight back in the eighth game. Vavassori broke again in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead and saved two break points before closing out the first set 6-4 on his second set point. 

Both players went on serve in the first four games of the second set. Vavassori earned a break point in the fifth game, but he did not convert it. Bautista Agut broke serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead and did not face any break points to win the second set 6-3. 

Bautista Agut broke three times to cruise through to a 6-1. 

Bautista Agut reached the 400th milestone win on the ATP Tour.  The Spanish player has become the 13th active player with at least 400 ATP Tour wins. He achieved 20 wins against members of the top 10, ten wins against top 5 players and four against world number 1s. Bautista Agut is one of the nine players, who have beaten Novak Djokovic as World number 1 more than twice. 

“For me it’s just a number. The important thing is that I have done great work over these years, that I have a very consistent career, a career that I can feel proud of “, said Bautista Agut. 

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