The 2022 ATP Finals in Turin are set to get underway on Sunday with many familiar faces appearing in the field of eight. Rafael Nadal has qualified for his 17th ATP Finals and Novak Djokovic is competing in his 15th. Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas are making their fourth consecutive appearance at the event, while Andrey Rublev makes his third appearance and Casper Ruud his second.
Felix Auger-Aliassime and Taylor Fritz are the only two players in the field making their ATP Finals debut. They are looking to become the third player in the past six years to win the event in their debut.
How Taylor Fritz made the ATP Finals
2022 has been a career year for Fritz. The 25-year-old American started the season ranked 23rd in the World with a goal of reaching the top 10. Not only has Fritz entered the top 10 (the Californian is the current world #9), he has also become the first American to reach the ATP Finals since John Isner in 2018. Fritz began his season by reaching the round of 16 at the Australian Open. It was his first time into the second week of a Slam, a result that seemed to release a lot of mental pressure.
He followed that up with the best result of his career: winning title in Indian Wells. Fritz defeated Alex de Minaur, Andrey Rublev, and Nadal, among others, to capture his maiden Masters 1000 crown. That victory moved Fritz to World No. 13 and gave him the belief to make a run to Turin. Fritz was one of the most consistent players on tour in 2022. He lost back-to-back matches only twice all season, putting up a 44-19 record along the way. Fritz was able to pair the aforementioned Indian Wells title with wins in Eastbourne and Tokyo. He was one of nine players to win three or more singles titles this season.
What to expect in Turin
One of the main reasons, the 25-year-old American could shock the field and succeed in his maiden ATP Finals is his unwillingness to flinch in big moments. Fritz holds a 4-3 record against fellow ATP Finals participants this season, with three victories coming at the Masters 1000 level. With six losses against players outside the world’s top 95, Fritz has developed a worrying habit of letting his level sink to that of his competition. That is not something he will have to worry about this week in Turin.
Fritz was drawn into the Green Group alongside Nadal, Ruud, and Auger-Aliassime. He holds a 1-2 record against Nadal, 1-0 record against Auger-Aliassime, and has yet to match up with Ruud. Considering his head-to-head career records against all seven ATP Finals participants, this is a relatively favorable draw for the American.
It will be intriguing to see how the indoor hard courts of Turin play. A faster court certainly favors Fritz over most of his opponents, as the American possesses one of the bigger serves and forehands in the event. If the courts are playing to his liking, expect Fritz to aggressively hunt his forehand early into points all week long. Fritz gets his 2022 ATP Finals campaign started against Nadal on Sunday at 9:00 PM local time. Nadal is searching for his first year-end title as Fritz is looking to become the first American to win the event since Pete Sampras in 1999.
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