ATP Finals: Fritz downs Auger-Aliassime to seal semi-final spot
TURIN: The American Taylor Fritz moved past Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6(4), 6-7(5), 6-2 to reach the semi-finals on debut at the prestigious year-end seasons finale of the ATP in Turin.
Fritz shot 32 winners and overpowered Auger-Aliassime during the heavy-hitting exchanges in the third set, earning the crucial break at 3-2 in the decider set to cruise after two hours and 44 minutes long battle.
"I needed to serve well the whole time, I knew that. It was frustrating throughout the match when so many points I was one away from breakpoint. So many times at 15/30, and 0/30 when I was returning, I got myself in the points and kept losing the points. I just tried to stay patient and not get frustrated and then I capitalised when I got the chance," ATP.com quoted Fritz as saying.
In the fast-paced indoor setting, the eighth seed found his areas to dominate behind his delivery and maintaining a powerful serve throughout the contest. The World No. 9 handed Auger-Aliassime few chances. Fritz saved all three break points he came up against and won 88 per cent (50/57) of his first-service points.
"It is huge. From possibly not even qualifying to now be in the semis feels great. I felt like I was going to play well here. I feel that I always play my best tennis against the best players," Fritz said when asked about reaching the semi-finals.
Earlier this year, the 25-year-old grabbed his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells, before he soared to crowns in Eastbourne and Tokyo.
Yesterday Spaniard Rafael Nadal finished his ATP Finals campaign on a winning note when he downed Casper Ruud 7-5, 7-5.
Nadal hit 37 winners to Ruud's 19 and won 93 per cent (38/41) of points behind his first serve to seal a one-hour, 43-minute victory.
"It's important, the last official match of the season, so I am happy for that. At the end I am happy about that... I was able to win against a great player," he said.