The 25-year-old Taylor Fritz will make his top-5 debut on Monday. The American will pass Rafael Nadal on the ATP ranking list for the first time in a career and become the first player from his country in the elite group since Andy Roddick in September 2009!
Roddick left the top-5 following the US Open, and the USA had to wait for 13 and a half years to get another player among the world’s leading players. Fritz will debut in the top-5 following four ATP titles in the previous 12 months.
The American entered the last year’s Indian Wells as world no. 20 and headed all the way to lift the first notable title in front of the home fans. Taylor took down Rafael Nadal in the final, overcoming an injury and sealing the deal in straight sets for 1000 ATP points on his tally.
Fritz could have played better in the next three months, winning seven out of 13 matches before conquering the title in Eastbourne. Taylor won four encounters at Wimbledon and set the quarter-final duel with Rafa.
Taylor Fritz will enter the top-5 on Monday.
They turned into a memorable one, with the Spaniard prevailing 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 in four hours and 21 minutes. Nadal dealt with an abdominal tear but gave his best to emerge at the top. Rafa and Taylor won 168 points each, hit the same number of winners and faced 14 break chances.
The youngster gave everything to bring the victory home, opening two sets to one lead before losing ground in the closing stages of sets four and five. They served well at the start of the fifth set before Rafa converted the fourth break chance with a drop shot winner for 4-3.
Taylor broke back in the next one and moved 5-4 up with a backhand crosscourt winner. Rafa served to stay in the match and landed a perfect volley winner at the net for 5-5. Fritz grabbed the 11th game with an ace down the T line, and Nadal held at love with a service winner to resist and introduce the deciding tie break.
Rafa moved 3-0 up with a forced error before Taylor reduced the deficit to 5-3. Nadal gained a 7-3 lead after an extended rally and a volley winner. A forehand down the line winner at 8-3 offered Nadal six match points, and he seized the second with a forehand winner to emerge at the top.
Fritz suffered an early US Open loss and fixed that in Tokyo, winning the title and entering the top-10. Taylor debuted at the ATP Finals in Turin and reached the semi-final with victories over Rafael Nadal and Felix Auger-Aliassime.
The American fought for a place in the final versus Novak Djokovic and fell 7-6, 7-6 after a titanic battle. With momentum on his side, Taylor is 11-3 in 2023. He led the USA toward the inaugural United Cup title and claimed the season’s first ATP title in Delray Beach.
Fritz will compete in Acapulco next week as a top-5 player for the first time, seeking more good results in the rest of the season.
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