Taylor Fritz Poised for a Breakthrough at the French Open

Taylor Fritz ahead of ATP Geneva

As the world tunes into the second Grand Slam of the year, an American on Tour fights to hold onto the prestigious No. 1 American spot. Taylor Fritz is currently No. 12 in the world, and he has a determined Tommy Paul and Ben Shelton breathing down his neck for that No.1 American spot.

Taylor Fritz in 2024

Fritz has had a good run into tournaments so far. At the Australian Open, he reached his first quarterfinal after defeating seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in four sets. Tsitsipas had won three of their four previous encounters including a fourth-round win in Melbourne in 2022. However, Fritz served strongly, firing 13 aces and winning 86% of their first-serve points. At the quarterfinal, he faced world No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the Serbian’s most successful court. The first set was a tight 7-6(3) with Djokovic taking the lead. Fritz managed to take the second set 4-6 but was unable to endure a fighting Djokovic. The match ended with the Serbian taking the final two sets 6-2 6-3.

At Delray Beach, he defended his title, beating fellow American Tommy Paul for the win. At the Miami Open, after receiving a bye and advancing to the second round of the tournament, he lost to Brazilian No. 1, Thiago Seyboth Wild in straight sets.

Clay Form

Since then, his form has been improving. He reached his first clay court final, regaining the American No. 1 ranking. In Munich, at the Bavarian International Tennis Championships, he won over Christian Garin. He faced Jan-Lennard Struff who upset the American in straight sets and took his first title at age 33.

At the Madrid Open, he beat Luciano Darderi, Sebastian Baez, and eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz, to advance to the quarterfinal, where he faced Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo. He fought valiantly winning a dominant first set. After a few mistakes in the second set, he regained momentum and went onto win the match 6-1 3-6 6-3. He moved on to the semifinal, where he faced Andrey Rublev. The Russian was in remarkable form with an exceptionally strong serve and forehand, which did not give the American any breathing space. Rublev took the win 6-4 6-3, advancing to the final.

At the Italian Open, once again Fritz displayed his strength on clay. He defeated compatriot Sebastian Korda, wildcard Fabio Fognini, and Grigor Dimitrov, to reach the quarterfinal. In the quarterfinal, he came face to face with Alexander Zverev who had charged in with his strong baseline play and an almost flawless serve. The German took the match 6-4 6-3. At the Italian Open, Fritz became the first American man to advance to the quarterfinals or higher in all three clay court Masters tournaments.

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This week in Paris, Fritz breezed passed the first round. He faced Argentinian Federico Coria and after a difficult first set, he came back strong, breaking Coria’s serve eight times to go on and win the match 2-6 6-1 6-2 6-1.

Fritz has displayed some incredible performances on clay and with the right mindset has the ability to make a deep run and perhaps challenge for the grand slam. He faces Serbian Dušan Lajović in the second round of the tournament.

Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports


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