Novak Djokovic dismisses Taylor Fritz and advances to the semi-finals for the eleventh time at the Australian Open

The master of the house continues his journey

Novak Djokovic dismisses Taylor Fritz and advances to the semi-finals for the eleventh time at the Australian Open

The master of the house continues his journey. World number 1, Novak Djokovic, qualified for the semi-finals of the Australian Open on Tuesday January 23. This is the eleventh time that the Serb has reached this stage of the tournament since the start of his career. Djokovic defeated American Taylor Fritz, seeded number 12, in four sets (7-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3). He will face the winner of the duel between the Italian Jannik Sinner and the Russian Andrey Rublev. The ten-time winner of the competition has not lost here for 2,192 days – as of January 23 – and his defeat in 2018 against Korean Hyeon Chung.

In a contested first set, Novak Djokovic made his experience speak for itself, raising his level of play at the end of the set to win in the tie-break. But the American, who fell to the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas – 2023 finalist – in the previous round, reacted by taking the Serb's service at the start of the second set. From the third, the world number 1 found the right formula, frustrating his opponent.

Throughout the meeting, the Serb gained momentum. Like his tournament. The “Djoker” lost a set in his first two matches of the competition – against Croatian Dino Prizmic, then against Australian Alexei Popyrin. He then firmly won against the Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry, before correcting the French Adrian Mannarino in the round of 16 (6-0, 6-0, 6-3). “The first two sets are the best I have played in a while,” said the Serb after the match.

Against Tomas Martin Etcheverry, Novak Djokovic played his hundredth match in Melbourne, winning his 92nd victory in the competition. Only the Swiss Roger Federer does better, with 117 matches for 102 victories. For his nineteenth participation in the Australian Open, he will try to lift his eleventh title.

Sinner and Alcaraz impress

At only 22 years old, Italian Jannick Sinner confirms his progress. Since the start of the tournament, number 4 has won in each of his matches, without losing a single set. During his first test, in the round of 16 against the Russian Karen Khachanov, he won after a perfectly controlled match. In Australia, he has never done better than a quarter-final, in 2022, then beaten by Stefanos Tsitsipas. This January 23, he challenges the Russian Andrey Rublev to join Djokovic in the semi-finals.

Winner of two Grand Slam tournaments, the Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz had a relatively quiet first week, apart from a tough second round against the Italian Lorenzo Sonego (victory 6-4, 6-7, 6-3, 7-6) . In the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the sixth time in eleven appearances, the world number 2 is already achieving his best performance in Melbourne – so far a third round, in 2022.

To reach the semi-finals, he will have to defeat the German Alexander Zverev, who has already played almost 14 hours in the competition, compared to 9 for the Spaniard. In the same part of the table, the other quarter-final pits the Russian Daniil Medvedev, finalist in Australia in 2021 and 2022, against the Pole Hubert Hurkaz, winner of the French sensation Arthur Cazaux in the previous round.

An open feminine painting

As for the women's tournament, the favorites were not all able to meet expectations. As a result, the table opened completely. Only four seeds compete in the quarter-finals. The American Coco Gauff was the first to have won her ticket to the semi-finals, winning this Tuesday against the Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk. Winner of the 2023 US Open against Aryna Sabalenka, she will be able to meet the Belarusian for a place in the final. World number 2 challenges Czech Barbora Krejcikova.

In the other part of the table, the defeats of the Kazakh Elena Rybakina, seeded number 3, in the second round, then of the world number 1, the Polish Iga Swiatek, in the next round, reshuffled the cards. Coming from qualifying, the Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska, world number 93, will challenge the Czech Lina Noskova, 50th in the ATP rankings, for a place in the semi-finals. The Chinese Qinwen Zheng, winner of the last French chance, Océane Dodin, in the previous round, will challenge the Russian Anna Kalinskaya, who has never played a quarter-final in a Grand Slam.