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US Open: Djokovic's quest for 24th major continues; Fritz, Tiafoe also fire into quarters

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US Open: Djokovic's quest for 24th major continues; Fritz, Tiafoe also fire into quarters

New York, Sep 4 (Ajit Weekly News) After surviving a scare two nights ago in his five-set comeback win in Round 3, Novak Djokovic snuffed out a spirited challenge from big-hitting Croatian qualifier Borna Gojo 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 to reach his 57th Grand Slam quarterfinal.

The chase for Grand Slam No. 24 continues for three-time US Open titlist Djokovic, who extends his 2023 Grand Slam record to 24-1.

The Serb’s fourth-round win on Sunday ushers in his 13th US Open quarterfinal appearance, tying him with Andre Agassi and Roger Federer for second-most behind Ivan Lendl’s 17.

The 23-time major champion, who will reclaim No. 1 in the ATP Rankings on September 11 for a record-extending 390th week regardless of his ultimate result in New York, will meet top-ranked American Taylor Fritz on Tuesday.

“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.

“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,” said Djokovic on his quarterfinal clash with Fritz.

Djokovic owns a 7-0 record against the American, having dropped only two sets in their four-year history.

Elsewhere, by beating qualifier Dominic Stricker in straight sets on Sunday night, Fritz booked a spot amongst the final eight alongside fellow Americans Frances Tiafoe and Ben Shelton.

In doing so, the trio of US men accomplished something that hadn’t been done since 2005. Eighteen years ago, Andre Agassi, James Blake and Robby Ginepri were the last three American men to reach the US Open quarterfinals in the same year.

Tiafoe, a semifinalist last year, ended Australian Rinky Hijikata’s run when he produced an all-court display to triumph 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 in the fourth round.

The 25-year-old, who was the first American since Agassi (2002-’05) to reach the fourth round in New York for four consecutive years, will meet the 20-year-old countryman Ben Shelton on Tuesday.

On the other hand, Shelton defeated compatriot Tommy Paul to become the youngest American to advance to the last eight since then-20-year-old Andy Roddick in 2002.

–Ajit Weekly News

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