Rafael Nadal leaves Centre Court in stitches with Taylor Fritz joke ahead of Wimbledon clash.
Prior to Monday afternoon, Taylor Fritz had never advanced past the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament. However, the American did it at Wimbledon with a polished 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 triumph over Australian qualifier Jason Kubler.
The 99th-ranked Kubler's valiant run at the grass-court major was put to an end by the 11th seed, who put on an excellent show of clean hitting off both wings. In order to finish a two-hour victory on No. 1 Court, Fritz smashed 40 winners and broke his opponent's serve five times.
In his on-court interview, Fritz remarked, "A first Grand Slam quarter-final, it's a really huge deal." Being an American, I'm glad I was able to win on July 4th and to have made it to the final eight. Being in my first quarterfinal is fantastic because it proves that my efforts are paying off.
The 24-year-old Fritz has had an outstanding year, culminating in his run to the Wimbledon quarterfinals. In March, he won his first ATP Masters 1000 title at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. The American confessed it was good to be recognized for his efforts behind the scenes after his victory over Kubler boosted his match record for 2022 to 29-10.
There aren't really any secrets; all it takes is a lot of effort and time, according to Fritz. It's encouraging to see that my hard work and building have paid off since I started to sort of find my game at the end of last year.
In his first tour-level encounter with Kubler since the 2018 US Open, Fritz broke right away in the following game after rebounding from 0/40 to hold in the first game of the match. The American finished off a commanding performance by defeating Kubler's stubborn resistance in the grueling 10th game of the third set by converting his fourth match point.
"I could have come out a little unsteady," Fritz admitted. "I was down 0/40 in the first game, held it by sheer luck, flipped it, and got the break the next game. The first set was that. I thought my serving was good, and things might have turned out differently if those first two games had gone a little differently.
"I played pretty well in the second set, but in the third set, I think he slowed it down a bit and backed up a little on the court, possibly making it a little bit harder for me to hit the ball away. As a result, we started having some really long rallies, and the match became very tense. Simply said, I'm relieved that I succeeded in the end.
Fritz has kept up his scorching grass-court success at Wimbledon after winning his third tour-level championship at the Rothesay International in Eastbourne nine days ago. In order to meet Kubler, the 24-year-old defeated Lorenzo Musetti, Alastair Gray, and Alex Molcan in straight sets. Fritz's outstanding performance against the 29-year-old Australian was another another indication that Fritz will be difficult to stop this fortnight at SW19.
At the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Fritz, who had his first-ever Slam fourth round appearance at the Australian Open in January, will next play either two-time champion Rafael Nadal or World No. 25 Botic van de Zandschulp for a spot in the semifinals.
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