TaylorFritz reached his third ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinals of the season on Thursday Western & Southern Openwhere he clawed his way past Andrei Rublev 6-7(4), 6-2, 7-5 to set off a potential clash with world No. 1 Daniel Medvedev.
The American who dispatched Nick Kyrgios showed his defensive and offensive skills during the two-hour and 32-minute clash against Rublev in his second-round game in Cincinnati, sucking up the sixth seed’s aggressive ball strike to move up to 4-2 in his ATP Head2Head streak.
“I felt like my serving rhythm was slipping at times, but I just didn’t want to collapse in the second set. I tried to hit some good serves and take more risks,” Fritz said in his on-court interview. “At the end of the first one I thought I was too passive. So I told myself to take risks [in the second set].
“It was a big game. I didn’t really want to let anything bother me or affect me in a way that would affect me if I lost the match. Every time something didn’t go my way, I tried to analyze it and think about what I can do next time to win the point.”
The 24-year-old defeated Rublev en route to his first Masters 1000 trophy in Indian Wells in March and will continue his quest for a third trophy of the season next time he plays Medvedev or Canadian Denis Shapovalov. Fritz had never progressed past the first round in Cincinnati in three previous appearances prior to this week.
@Taylor_Fritz97 has the hottest 🔥 forehand (8.6/10) in @CincyTennis until now….#shotquality is calculated in real time by analyzing the speed, spin, depth, width and impact of each shot on the opponent.#TennisInsights | #CincyTennis | @CincyTennis pic.twitter.com/kuqBfn8gZ9
— Tennis Insights (@tennis_insights) August 18, 2022
In a close duel, both tried to penetrate the baseline and dictate the game from the ground. Rublev, who received a medical time-out during the game due to a leg injury, saved a set point on serve when the score was 4-5 in the first set before finding momentum early in the tie-break to move forward.
However, Fritz upped his intensity in the second set and frustrated Rublev with his consistency, making just four unforced errors to force a decider. Under the pressure, it was Fritz who kept his nerve to progress, breaking in the 11th game of the third set before holding to triumph.
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Fritz is 10th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin as he aims to qualify and make his debut Nitto ATP Finals in November.
Rublev was looking to advance to his third Masters 1000 quarterfinals of the year after reaching the semifinals in Indian Wells and the quarterfinals in Madrid. The 24-year-old who gets edgy Fabio Fognini reached the finals in Cincinnati in his opening game last season.