Novak Djokovic You don’t need to be brilliant to win games comfortably. It can be clinical, accurate, and effective. This was shown in the quarter-final match against Taylor Fritz of the Masters 1000 Paris-Bercy 2021: completely dismantled the kick off Taylor fritz, his main weapon, and forced him to play many exchanges with numerous lateral movements in order to defund him in a game that he always controlled (6-4, 6-3). Thus, seventh semifinal in the French capital for the world number one, who also continues to fatten a record of madness against American rivals: since the beginning of 2017, Novak has a record against them of 22-0.
Today Djokovic appeared in Paris with his entire family. With Jelena, his wife, being the first to encourage the Serbian, but also with the presence of their children Stefan and Tare, Nole wanted to impose his hierarchy starting with a break that, however, was answered with a couple of absolutely imperial returns by Fritz. These two games would set the tone for the first quarter: very poor percentages with their second serve (29% of points won by Djokovic, 31% by Fritz) and a face-to-face duel from the back of the court in which the strongest and most would prevail. patient.
Taylor proved he had gas in the tank, saving a couple of break balls to bring the score back to level after a seven-minute game. It was a mirage: Djokovic, who was far from loosening from the bottom but was more accurate in cross-forehand exchanges, seemed to accelerate with a 5-3 and serve to close the first set. He did not succeed because that was when the figure of the American re-emerged, leaving a point to remember 26 strokes that closed with a brutal parallel backhand. Again, another mirage: In the decisive game, Novak returned to wall mode and was much more pungent in his shots. He smelled blood, broke serve and delivered a relentless blow to his opponent’s confidence to close out the first set 6-4.
HOW TO DISASSEMBLE YOUR OPPONENT
If the first set had been irregular, with up and down sections without either of the two tennis players giving their 100%, the Serbian raised his tennis in the second set. He did not do it, eye, based on spectacular blows, without giving much less that jackal and / or overwhelming storm sensation that he sometimes shows. He did it from the effectiveness, from the intelligence and from the full knowledge of the weak points of your rival. What is Fritz’s preferred pattern of play? Drop a bomb to serve, preferably to the T, and attack the short ball with your right next. What do you have to do to force him not to run all this? Be absolutely clinical to the rest. Thus, despite connecting a 75% of first serves, Nole left Taylor’s statistics in that section at minimum levels: just a 56% points won with the first (percentage clearly pyrrhic if you want to finish with Djokovic) and a very low 33% of points with the second serve.
Beyond that, Novak attacked, but he did with margin. He left the dynamics of focused and flat exchanges of the first set to start targeting each side of the court: patiently, with a margin on the lines, but beginning to explode the legs of a Fritz who could not find himself. comfortable situations to attack. It was a clinical match on Novak’s part: nothing spectacular, nothing overwhelming, simply precise, efficient, and aware of what he had to do to break his rival.
The 6-4 and 6-3 ended up reflecting the dominance of a veteran, an experienced player who ensures his seventh semifinal at Paris-Bercy, a tournament that historically always did well. Fritz says goodbye in his second consecutive quarter-final in a Masters 1000, which in turn shows his magnificent evolution, although the step of the most absolute elite still catches him several steps away. By the way: if Daniil Medvedev loses tonight, Novak will make sure to be number one in the world for the 7th year. Much at stake, then.