Novak Djokovic was severely tested early before he steadied his game to reach his 11th Australian Open semifinal.
The 10-time defending champion was forced to split the first two sets against Taylor Fritz before completing a 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win. He needed three hours and 45 minutes for Djokovic to get the job done on Tuesday..
It also marked the Serbian superstar’s 32nd straight victory over an American player at a tour level. That was Djokovic’s 10th in a row against a US player in a major.
“I suffered a lot the first couple of sets, also due to his (Fritz) high-quality tennis,” Djokovic said.
“He was serving well, he was staying close to the line, he was really kind of suffocating me from the back of the court,” he added.
The 26-year-old American fell short despite saving the first 15 breakpoints he faced against the Serbian.
Fritz stood toe-to-toe with Djokovic by taking the second set. But the 12th seed was broken in the second game of the third and the world No.1 went steady from there.
Djokovic moves on to face No.4 seed Jannik Sinner, who withstood a late-night match to beat No.5 seed Andrey Rublev, 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-3.