© Truist Atlanta Open/Alex Smith

Taylor Fritz fires 17 aces against Steve Johnson on his way to the Truist Atlanta Open quarter-finals.

Fritz Keeps Cool To Reach Atlanta Quarter-finals

American next faces Opelka

Taylor Fritz rallied from a set down to book a place in the Truist Atlanta Open quarter-finals on Wednesday, as he defeated Steve Johnson 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-1 in a battle between Americans. 

Fritz, who reached the semi-finals in Los Cabos last week, maintained the momentum after dropping a 51-minute opening set to Johnson, No. 80 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. The 2019 finalist raised his level in the second set, and opened up a 5-0 lead in the third.

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Although on-court temperatures reportedly crept into the triple digits (Fahrenheit) in Atlanta, Fritz stayed cool to seal the win after an hour and 57 minutes.

“I’m feeling really good, I like playing in the heat. And you know, we had a couple of tough [rallies] out there, but it was mostly serving. This is a fast court and there were a lot of short points, so it doesn’t take a big toll on my body,” Fritz said in an on-court interview. “I feel ready for doubles, and then I’m going to rest up.”

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The fifth seed saved the only break point he faced in an impressive serving performance. He won 90 per cent (45/50) of points behind his powerful first delivery and he fired 17 aces en route to victory. Fritz will next face Reilly Opelka after the fourth seed defeated American qualifier Bjorn Fratangelo 7-6(3), 7-6(4). Fritz is seeking a fourth semi-final berth of the season this week.

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