US Open: Djokovic 'trying to enjoy the moment' after reaching record 47th major semi-final

Serbian second seed too good for American Fritz and will face another home hope, Shelton, for a place in the final

Novak Djokovic celebrates his straight sets victory over Taylor Fritz in the quarter-finals of the US Open. Getty
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Novak Djokovic said he is trying to enjoy every moment on and off the tennis court after the Serbian second seed booked his place in a record 47th Grand Slam semi-final at the US Open on Tuesday.

Djokovic, 36, is aiming to match Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles and he eased past American Taylor Fritz 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 at Arthur Ashe Stadium to reach the last four in New York while adding another milestone to his incomparable career.

Despite all his success over the past 15 years, Djokovic remains as motivated as ever as he strives to reach all four Grand Slam finals in a single season for the second time.

"I'm trying to enjoy the moments on the court, but there's so much stress and pressure going on that it's hard to have fun, so to say, on the court," said Djokovic, who will replace reigning US Open champion Carls Alcaraz as world No 1 at the end of the tournament.

"It's really about finding a way to navigate through the match and win a match for me.

"But off the court, in terms of the actual journey of still being a professional tennis player and going around the world, travelling with my coaching team, we try to keep things light and have fun and enjoy life."

Djokovic will face another American in the semi-finals after Ben Shelton defeated compatriot Frances Tiafoe in the day's later quarter-final 6-2, 3-6, 7-6, 6-2. Shelton, 20, becomes the youngest American man to reach the last four in New York since Michael Chang in 1992.

Speaking before discovering his semi-final opponent, Djokovic said: "Both of the guys ... Shelton and Tiafoe, have a lot of charisma. They bring a lot of energy on the court. They're very quick, very powerful.

"I have couple days off. It actually serves well for my body at this stage of the tournament. I'll be ready whoever is across the net."

On the prospect of facing Djokovic in his first major semi-final, Shelton said he is ready for the challenge.

"It doesn't get much better than that," the world No 42 said. "I feel like I left it all out here tonight. It was an emotional battle."

Arguably Djokovic's sternest challenge to prevent him from adding the US Open title to the Australian Open and Roland Garros trophies he secured this season lurks in the opposite side of the draw.

Top seed Alcaraz, who defeated Djokovic in a Wimbledon final classic this summer, takes on 12th seed Alexander Zverev in the first semi-final on Wednesday night.

Updated: September 07, 2023, 12:14 AM