Djokovic and Gauff dominate on first day of US Open quarterfinals

(Photo by Lev Radin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
(Photo by Lev Radin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /

Day one of the quarterfinals of the US Open is done and Novak Djokovic and Coco Gauff were two plays who played extremely well. They will find out who their semifinal opponents will be on Wednesday. We definitely could be looking at another Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz final.

Honestly, though, the way majors split the quarterfinals sometimes is odd. Many times the women’s side gets slighted while some of the men have two days off. For instance, whoever wins Wednesday’s Zheng Qinwen against Aryna Sabalenka and Marketa Vondorusova versus Madison Keys matches has to play in the semifinals the following day while their opponent has a day of rest. This doesn’t happen on the men’s side.

As far as the matches that took place on Tuesday, however, Novak Djokovic is creating his new Gael Monfils in the form of Taylor Fritz. Monfils is 0-19 against Djokovic. After losing to Djoko 6-1 6-4 6-4 on Tuesday, Fritz is now 0-8 against the Serb and has only won two sets, both of which came in the same match in the Australian Open.

Novak Djokovic and Coco Gauff dominate at the US Open on Tuesday

Frtiz tried to be the attacker on Tuesday, but he overplayed his forehand many times. While Fritz had more winners than Djokovic – 33 to 25 – he also committed 51 unforced errors to 26 for Djoko. Fritz is a good player, of course, but he will never be as good as the Serb and Fritz definitely can’t defeat Djokovic if Fritz is beating himself. This is what happened on Tuesday.

In the other match on the men’s side, American Ben Shelton defeated countryman Frances Tiafoe in four sets. We predicted this would happen, so it goes to show we can be correct at least two out of 10 times. (That’s good, right?)

Shelton succeeded where Fritz failed against Djokovic in that Shelton kept attacking but wasn’t missing. He finished with 50 winners and 14 aces against Tiafoe in a 6-2 3-6 7-6(9) 6-2 victory. One area that will need to improve for Shelton when he faces Djoko in the semifinals by not having so many double-faults. Shelton had 11 against Tiafoe. Still, Shelton continues on his likely rise to becoming the top-ranked American within a couple of years.

On the women’s side, we saw two blowouts. Karolina Muchova defeated Sorana Cirstea 6-0 6-3. Muchova dominated in her return of service and Cirstea won just 39 percent of her first serves. It also didn’t help that Cirstea had more unforced errors (19) than winners (12).

Muchova seems to play big in big tournaments overall, and she is a real threat to win the US Open. And Thursday’s match of Muchova and Coco Gauff could be one of the best matches of the year.

That’s because as well as Muchova is playing, Gauff is potentially playing as well as anyone on the WTA tour. Ever since she changed to coach Brad Gilbert in July, she looks like a different player. Just ask Jelena Ostapenko who defeated top-seed Iga Swiatek in the fourth round. Coco Gauff is playing like a top-ranked player and Ostapenko learned that on Tuesday.

Gauff won the match 6-0 6-2 and played ruthless tennis. Gauff won 58 percent of her return points. Forced to try to overhit to keep in the match, Ostapenko had 36 winners to just 12 winners.

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