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Taylor Fritz On Facing Novak Djokovic

Taylor Fritz is not 0-17 vs Novak Djokovic, like Vitas Gerulaitis, who had lost all seventeen of his ATP matches vs Bjorn Borg. No, Taylor Fritz is just 0-7 vs Djokovic and today he will get his eighth opportunity to try to beat Novak and end the Serbian’s dominance. Here is what Fritz said in my book “Facing Novak Djokovic”….

“Novak is Novak.”
Taylor Fritz: The biggest memories for my first two matches with Novak, especially Monte Carlo, it was windy and it was hard for me to pinpoint my spots. I had to play with more margin, and that’s definitely not something I can get away with when I’m playing him.

Madrid, a bit of altitude, a bit faster, I was able to attack more and play more aggressive and had a bit of a closer match. I just know what to expect and I know what I need to do.

For me to have a chance to beat Novak, I just have to play my best tennis. Luckily for me and my game, I possess the ability if I’m on, I can serve well enough to where I won’t get broken and I can be extremely aggressive on the ground strokes and I can kind of take control if I’m on.

In Australian Open (2021 third round loss 76 64 36 46 62) he was serving unbelievable in the fifth set. He was serving two first serves and barely really missing any, hitting the spots, serving faster, harder than he was before in the previous sets. I found it even tougher to return his serve.

Then much more pressured, as well, to hit a better return because he was stepping in and just cracking it so well and not missing. He was making some mistakes, some errors in the third and fourth, and just cracking the ball and not really missing in the fifth. I didn’t feel like I really had a good chance.

And then he was also just putting a lot of pressure on my serve with how he was attacking it. He was picking a side, and if he guessed the right side he just, like, just crushed the return.
That was tough to deal with and it was also obviously tough to deal with him all of a sudden moving fast and just like playing so much better from the third and the fourth. I mean, I should have — I expected that. But I expected that if he was really, really injured he wouldn’t. The grand scheme of things, I need to keep working, I need to get everything better. I need to get, like, my serve, for the first set and set and a half, it wasn’t where it should have been for me. I was serving like 50-something percent and not hitting my spots. I was making too many forehand mistakes when I was trying to be the aggressor in the rallies.

And I’ve improved my movement a lot, but I have to keep working. I have to keep improving. You know, it’s very motivating that we’re so close, we’re so close.

But also, at the same time so far these guys are so good. I definitely got a taste for why Novak is Novak in the first-set tiebreaker. These guys are so good. I have a lot of work to do.

Question: Your comments on the mental strength factor of Novak? The roaring, screaming, fist pumps in key dramatic moments of the fifth set of the AO match?
Taylor Fritz: I think a lot of it is just, like, the desire and the passion and wanting it, and I don’t think it’s something that these guys develop. I think it’s something that you’re born with. They’re just kind of — they’re built differently. I think that I want it, I think I want it just as bad, and I have the passion and desire just as much, but I still need to develop my game so I can show it. It doesn’t matter how bad you want it if you’re not better than the other person.
So I think these guys have just, like, they just want it. Like I said, they are kind of just built differently, and it’s something that people have or they don’t have, and it makes, that’s what makes someone a champion.

Djokovic leads series 7-0

2023 ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati Outdoor Hard QF Djokovic 60 64

2022 ATP WTF Italy Indoor Hard SF Djokovic 765 766
2021 ATP Masters 1000 Paris Indoor Hard QF Djokovic 64 63
2021 ATP Masters 1000 Rome Outdoor Clay R32 Djokovic 63 765
2021 Australian Open Outdoor Hard R32 Djokovic 761 64 36 46 62
2019 ATP Masters 1000 Madrid Outdoor Clay R32 Djokovic 64 62
2019 ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo Outdoor Clay R16 Djokovic 63 60

(Novak artwork by Andres Bella.)

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  • Sam · September 5, 2023 at 4:34 pm

    I’m glad that Djoko was able to overcome Taylor Swift!! 😄

    Actually, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with him today in the sweltering New York heat. Scoop, do you really believe the rumor that he requested a daytime match?

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 5, 2023 at 6:09 pm

    No I dont Sam, its fake news by the fake news media to try to make Novak look bad and weak. Fowler even said later, the next day after he first revealed it, he heard about it, which means it’s BS.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 5, 2023 at 9:22 pm

    Another total domination by Djokovic over Fritz the only ATP player to completely own Fritz who is a great player. One thing I think Fritz should consider changing is adding a coach to his team, who has won a Grand Slam. Mike Russell is a very good coach but he has no experience with winning a Grand Slam or even reaching second week of a Grand Slam.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 7, 2023 at 10:03 pm

    Interesting on Sept 4 Gauff became the betting favorite to win US Open at plus 220, Sabalenka at plus 275. Keys at plus 2000. Feels like it’s set up for Gauff.

  • Sam · September 9, 2023 at 3:44 pm

    No I dont Sam, its fake news by the fake news media to try to make Novak look bad and weak. Fowler even said later, the next day after he first revealed it, he heard about it, which means it’s BS.

    I think you’re right, Scoop.

    Hope Sabalenka wins later today.

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