(October 15, 2021) INDIAN WELLS, California – American Taylor Fritz, seeded 31st came back from 2-5 down and two match points late in the third set to defeat No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) on Friday at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. This match was the biggest win of his career in front of his home state fans. Fritz is from San Diego. “I kept fighting,” Fritz said in his on-court interview. “The crowd pushing me on meant so much.”
“I was able to get out of those match points,” the 23-year-old Frtiz told media. “I mean, the one on his serve, which is obviously the most dangerous one, he double-faulted. The one on my serve, I played a solid point. I made a pretty good pickup off a deep ball. I easily could have missed that.
“I just told myself I really needed to hold that game just to kind of fight through that. I really wanted to make him have to serve out the match.”
“Obviously he’s 3 in the world. This is the farthest I’ve ever been in a big tournament. It’s easily the best win of my life, against a really tough opponent on arguably the biggest match I could possibly play. So it’s great.”
This was the American’s sixth win over a Top Ten player.
Fritz will be taking on 29th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili, who ousted No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in his semifinal on Saturday.
“Well, I mean, today was just not really my day, to be honest,” Zverev said. “I was close to winning, but the level of tennis was just not quite there for me.
“I mean, Fritz, he played a great match. He deserves to be in the semis. Yeah, I mean, today mentally is not easy for me.”
“My next tournament is Vienna. Hoping I can deal with it well there, but right now I just want to go home. I want to just be at home, to be honest.
“It was a very long season. I have played well. But this one hurts because I knew that after Stefanos lost this morning, I was kind of the favorite to win this tournament, but my tennis wasn’t there yet.”
As for playing the man from the country of Geogia next, Fritz said: “he’s very tough, especially when he’s playing with confidence. He hits the ball so big off of both sides. I just have to kind of play my game, not get too pushy or worried about making balls. I have to be aggressive, stay aggressive, so he can’t really push me around.
“It makes sense why he’s done well here, because it’s slower conditions. He can hit through it. He has time to set up and just crush the ball.
“I just got to focus on my own game, serve well, be aggressive, play the big situations well like I did today.”
Despite his win over the No. 3 player in the world, the Georgian said that his win against Roger Federer this past March in Doha was his biggest win.
“My win against Roger meant a lot to me because he was my idol,” Basilashvili said. “I would say Roger’s win was very important in my career. Beating Stefanos today was, as well, really, really important match.”
More to follow…..