Roger Federer backs Novak Djokovic to win US Open: 'It's a safe bet'


Roger Federer backs Novak Djokovic to win US Open: 'It's a safe bet'
Roger Federer backs Novak Djokovic to win US Open: 'It's a safe bet' © Bryan Bedder / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Asked about the US Open favorite, a five-time champion in New York, Roger Federer, had no doubt. The Swiss backed Novak Djokovic to lift his fourth US Open title, calling it a safe bet. Novak has been a player to beat at Majors this year, conquering the Australian Open and Roland Garros, becoming the first player with 23 Major crowns.

Djokovic reached another final at Wimbledon, falling to Carlos Alcaraz in five thrilling sets. Novak is seeking his 24th Major title in New York, earning his 13th semi-final following a win over Taylor Fritz. World no. 2 has had a favorable draw in New York so far, passing the Laslo Djere test from two sets to love down and having no other issues.

Novak will meet Ben Shelton in the semi-final, hoping to reach his 36th Major final. Djokovic's first top-10 victory of the tournament came against the home star Taylor Fritz at Arthur Ashe Stadium, with the Serb scoring a 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 triumph in two hours and 35 minutes.

Roger Federer labeled Novak Djokovic as the US Open favorite.

The conditions were challenging, and they did not produce their best tennis. However, Novak tamed his strokes nicely and sealed the deal in straight sets after taming the rival's initial shot.

Taylor served at 55% and struggled on the second serve, getting broken six times from nine chances offered to Novak despite being almost flawless in the previous rounds. The Serb experienced a couple of challenging service games, playing against 12 break chances and defending ten to keep the pressure on the other side.

Djokovic landed 25 winners and 26 unforced errors, controlling his strokes nicely and welcoming the opponent's 50 mistakes! Novak found the rhythm on the return right from the start, delivering three straight breaks in the first set and clinching it 6-1 in 43 minutes after a couple of challenging games.

The Serb pushed the American's second serve to the limits in set number two. Taylor netted a forehand in the third game to experience a break before making a massive push in the next one, earning four break points. Novak stayed calm and saved them, delivering an enormous hold and settling into a fine rhythm.

Djokovic served for the set at 5-4 and fired an ace to forge two sets to love advantage, moving closer to the finish line. Fritz served well at the start of the third set before earning two break points at 3-2 with a mighty forehand winner.

Novak denied them and held with a strong backhand that gave him a boost. Taylor squandered two game points in the seventh game and placed a loose backhand to lose serve and find himself 4-3 behind. Eager to fight until the end, Fritz hit a smash winner in the eighth game and created two more break points.

Djokovic saved them but lost serve on the third after a forehand error, bringing his rival back to 4-4 and increasing the drama. Instead of building on that, the American sprayed errors in the ninth game and lost serve on the Serb's second break chance.

Taylor stayed competitive, landing a forehand down the line winner at 4-5 and earning a break chance. Novak erased it with a powerful serve and reached a match point with a smash winner. Djokovic missed it after a wayward backhand before creating the second with a booming serve.

Novak converted it after Taylor's backhand error to celebrate the victory and the record-breaking 47th Major semi-final.

Roger Federer Novak Djokovic Ben Shelton

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