Novak Djokovic admitted that he needed “to fight to survive” against Taylor Fritz as he “did not feel very reactive or comfortable” during his semifinal match in Turin. On Saturday, Djokovic edged out Fritz in two tight sets 7-6 (5) 7-6 (6) to reach the final at the ATP Finals.
“I had to fight to survive. I didn’t feel very reactive today or very comfortable. I knew coming into today’s match from yesterday’s grueling battle against [Daniil] Medvedev I knew it would take me some time to adjust and find the dynamic movement I need against Fritz, who is one of the best servers on the Tour,” Djokovic said after the match, per the ATP Finals website.
How Djokovic defeated Fritz
Djokovic earned the first break of the match in the fifth game to open a 3-2 lead but he got broken back immediately in the following game. As no more breaks were seen in the first set, the opener had to be resolved in a tie-break.
In the tie-break, Fritz had a 5-4 lead before Djokovic won the next three points to win a tight first set. After losing the first set, Fritz broke Djokovic in the very first game of the second set. But when the time came for Fritz to serve out for the set in the 10th game, he failed to do so as Djokovic managed to force another tie-break – in which he realized his second match point to complete a two-set win.
“I had to be very patient, I didn’t start the second set very well. But I managed to break his serve at 5-4 when he was serving for the set, like when [Daniil] Medvedev was serving for the match yesterday. In those moments I find another gear and managed to hold my nerve and make him play another shot in the tie-break.
I am very pleased to have overcome this one as I don’t think it was one of my best days with my tennis, but I managed to hang in there,” Djokovic added. Djokovic plays in the final either Casper Ruud or Andrey Rublev.