September 4, 2023 | 7:10 a.m
Only two other matches can be compared: the 2022 Wimbledon quarter-finals against Rafael Nadal and the 2022 Indian Wells finals against the same opponent.
US Open top-ranked Taylor Fritz places his next match, Tuesday’s quarter-final against Novak Djokovic, among the biggest matches of his career.
“I think the hardest thing is convincing yourself to play within yourself,” ninth seed Fritz said after his 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 6-4 win over unseeded Dominic Stricker at Lewis Championships. Armstrong Stadium on Sunday. “I don’t need to find myself trying to hit bigger serves or shoot close to the lines, things like that, because he’s Novak. I think I need to play within myself and trust that if I play well it will be enough, I don’t need to do anything extra .
It would be a big moment for the 25-year-old Fritz, and the chance to reach the semi-finals of a major tournament for the first time in his career.
A legend will stand in his way, as he is the sport’s all-time leader in singles grand slams with 23.
The second workbook Djokovic defeated Croatian Borna Jogo 6-2 7-5 6-4 on Sunday.is a perfect seven for seven against it.
“Novak Novak. It’s tough or rough. I said it on the court, he hit me seven times,” said Fritz. “Nobody on the Tour has any record like that against me, so I hope I can get it one of these times. The quarter-finals in the US would be a very good time to sign him.
Fritz is a key part of the US Men’s Senior Open, marking the first time since 2005 that three of them have advanced to the quarter-finals.
The other two, No. 10 Frances Tiafoe and Ben Shilton, will face each other in the same part of the draw as Djokovic and Fritz.
By the time the match started, Tiafoe and Shelton had already advanced.
Fritz proceeded to make quick work of Stricker, needing just 2 hours and 13 minutes to advance to the quarter-finals in Flushing.
Fritz dropped serve only once, firing 17 aces and hitting 35 winners in a relatively easy victory.
“I can’t say it added pressure,” he said of his compatriots’ victories. “I would say that motivated me more because I didn’t want to be the one who never fails, especially when I’m the favorite in the match to get past this draw. So obviously I wanted to be part of the group of guys going into the quarter-finals. I called him a couple of rounds ago. I said, “Hey, there will definitely be an American in the semi-finals on this side.”
There could be two Americans in the semi-finals, but that would require Fritz beating Djokovic for the first time, which is no easy feat.
Fritz comes into this match playing very well.
He did not drop a set in the tournament and won the Atlanta Open at the end of July, his second title at tour level of the season.
They most recently met at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, with Djokovic winning in straight sets.
“I’m very happy about that because I think I’ll be in a much better position coming into this match,” said Fritz. “I’ve lost seven times against him. I have nothing to lose. I’m not going to overdo it. I’m not going to do anything different because I’m going to play with Novak. I’m going to play my game, I’m playing within myself, and I’m confident that if I play well, that’s enough.