Taylor Fritz Understands Novak Djokovic's Confidence: 'He Leads Me 8-0!'

Novak Djokovic and Taylor Fritz will battle in the Australian Open quarter-final

by Jovica Ilic
Taylor Fritz Understands Novak Djokovic's Confidence: 'He Leads Me 8-0!'
© Sarah Stier / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic faces Taylor Fritz in the quarter-final in Melbourne. Novak is confident ahead of their duel, beating Taylor eight times from as many duels. Their most recent battle came at last year's US Open, with Djokovic scoring a straight-sets triumph.

Taylor understands Novak's confidence, admitting he would feel the same after maintaining a perfect record against someone. However, the American will try to change his fortune at Rod Laver Arena and challenge the greatest player in history, gaining a boost following a rock-solid victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Fritz recalled his 2022 ATP Finals against duel, serving for the second set before falling in two tie breaks. Taylor made a slow start at the Australian Open before finding his A-game when it mattered the most. The American scored his first top-10 win at Majors after 11 straight losses, ousting the Greek 7-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 in three hours and one minute, entering his second consecutive Major quarter-final.

Novak Djokovic, Australian Open 2024© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Fritz impressed with his level, especially in sets three and four, defending nicely and outplaying last year's finalist. Taylor fired 50 winners and 19 unforced errors, losing serve two times and delivering four breaks in sets three and four to end the rival's resistance.

Fritz fired numerous service winners and built the advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes. They survived break chances in the encounter's opening games and served well after that to introduce a tie break. Stefanos netted a forehand at 1-2, and Taylor opened a 5-2 lead with a forehand winner.

The American closed the set with another forehand winner, moving in front and gaining a boost. There was nothing for the returners to work with in the opening ten games of the second set. Tsitsipas raised his level on the return in game 11 and grabbed a break after Fritz's volley mistake.

Stefanos saved a break point at 6-5 with a booming serve and landed another on a set point, leveling the overall score after an hour and 35 minutes.

Taylor Fritz is 0-8 against Novak Djokovic.

They exchanged breaks at the beginning of the third set, and Tsitsipas struggled again in games four and six.

Fritz broke him at 3-2 with a backhand down the line winner and wrapped up the set with a drop shot winner at 5-3, building his second advantage after two hours and 17 minutes. After six comfortable holds in the fourth set, Stefanos missed a volley at 3-3 and experienced a break point.

Taylor converted it with a volley winner and cemented the lead with a backhand winner in the next one for 5-3. Tsitsipas served to stay in the match in game nine and suffered another break after Fritz's backhand winner, with the American celebrating his finest victory at Majors.

Novak Djokovic will seek his ninth consecutive win over Fritz following a dominant 6-0, 6-0, 6-3 triumph over another veteran Adrian Mannarino. Djokovic made a flying start, taking the encounter's opening 13 games and sealing the deal with a single break in set number three.

Novak Djokovic, Australian Open 2024© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Showing no signs of illness, Novak had the upper hand from start to finish against the rival who could not impose his serve or groundstrokes.

Mannarino wasted three break points in the opening two sets, getting broken six times in a row and once again in the third set to end his run in the last 16. Novak tamed the rival's serve and turned 57% of the points into seven breaks, doing everything right in the shortest and more advanced exchanges.

Interestingly, Djokovic played against two break points in the first game of the match, erasing them with winners. Novak broke in game two with a volley winner and never looked back until the end of the second set. Djokovic landed a deep return in the sixth game, earning his third straight break and securing the opener with a bagel after 33 minutes.

Novak stayed on that level in set number two, outplaying Mannarino and constructing a double bagel after his rival's backhand error in game six. Adrian finally held in the second set's second game, offering the crowd at Rod Laver Arena something to cheer about.

Still, he a left-hander sprayed a forehand error in the fourth game, sending Novak 3-1 in front and closer to the finish line. Djokovic extended the gap to 4-1 with a service winner and landed an ace in game seven for a 5-2 advantage.

Novak served for the victory in game nine and held at love to wrap up an excellent performance and set the quarter-final clash versus Fritz.

Taylor Fritz, Australian Open 2024© Maya Thompson / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

"I can not blame Novak; he beat me eight times in a row.

I would have been confident in the same situation. Novak never had to change his strategy against me, winning all the duels after playing the same tennis. My best match against Novak came at the 2022 ATP Finals, as I served for the second set.

However, I have played poorly against Novak after that. I like the conditions in Melbourne. I played well against Stefanos and hope to repeat that and challenge Novak," Taylor Fritz said.

Taylor Fritz Novak Djokovic Australian Open