Taylor Fritz reveals what he admires most about Novak Djokovic ahead of US Open showdown
Taylor Fritz has revealed Novak Djokovic’s “incredible discipline” despite holding “pretty much all the records” is the quality he most admires in the great Serbian.
The world No 9 also believes he needs to play within himself in his 2023 US Open quarter-final clash with the 23-time Grand Slam champion.
Fritz has lost all seven of his career encounters with the 36-year-old, including a 0-6, 4-6 defeat in the last eight of last month’s Cincinnati Masters.
The American has impressively advanced to the quarter-finals of his home major without dropping a set in wins over Steve Johnson, Juan Pablo Varillas, Jakub Mensik and Dominic Stricker.
It is the 25-year-old’s joint-best result in a Grand Slam – alongside his run to the same stage of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships.
Djokovic, meanwhile, is seeking a fourth US Open crown, following triumphs at Flushing Meadows in 2011, 2015 and 2018.
Following his last-16 victory against Stricker, Fritz was asked what he found “most remarkable” about Djokovic at this stage of the 36-year-old’s career.
“I’d say it’s just the consistency and the attention to detail that he has in everything he does on the court, off the court. I’ve said it a lot. The season’s so long, there’s so many tournaments,” said the American in his post-match press conference.
“What he does off the court to, for himself, feel his best, is a lot. It’s a lot. It’s incredible discipline. I’d say that’s what I really admire the most about him. He’s been doing it for as long as he has. He has pretty much all the records. He still is as disciplined as he is every single day.”
The six-time ATP titlist also discussed the challenge of facing Djokovic, who will overtake Carlos Alcaraz to return to world No 1 following the tournament.
“Yeah, I think the toughest thing is just convincing yourself that it’s, like, just play within yourself. I don’t need to find myself trying to hit serves bigger or aiming closer to the lines, stuff like that, because it’s Novak,” said the Californian.
“I think I need to play within myself and trust that if I’m playing well, then that’s going to be enough, and I don’t need to kind of do anything extra. Novak’s Novak. It’s tough.
“I said it on court – he’s gotten me seven times. There’s no one on tour that has any kind of a record like that against me, so I’m hoping one of these times I’ve got to get him. US Open quarters would be a pretty good time to get him (smiling).”
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