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Taylor Fritz ousts top seed Guido Pella in the second round of the Nature Valley International.

Fritz 'Choked', Then Upset Top Seed In Eastbourne

Verdasco, Querrey also advance on grass

American Taylor Fritz willed himself to his third quarter-final of 2019 on Wednesday, overcoming a late stumble to upset top seed Guido Pella of Argentina 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 at the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne.

The 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier hit 13 aces and won 83 per cent of his first-serve points to notch his first victory of the grass-court season. Fritz also made the quarter-finals at the ASB Classic in Auckland and the semi-finals at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon.

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“I tried to just attack with my backhand, take my backhand early, crosscourt as much as possible. I knew he was going to play the forehand cross to my backhand. I wanted to rush his forehand and just be aggressive whenever I was able to,” Fritz said.

The 21-year-old was broken while serving for the match at 5-3 in the third set but refused to stay down.

“I just played a really poor game. I didn't make any first serves. The only way to say it is I really choked that game,” Fritz said. “I switched sides and told myself, 'I can't lose', because I'll be so mad if I lose this match because of how I played that game when I was trying to serve out the match.”

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Fritz will next meet Poland's Hubert Hurkacz, who also competed at last year's Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. The 22-year-old Hurkacz beat Steve Johnson of the U.S. 6-3, 7-6(5) to also make his third quarter-final of the season (BNP Paribas Open, Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships).

Third seed Kyle Edmund of Great Britain saved all three break points to beat countryman Cameron Norrie 6-2, 6-2. Edmund, No. 31 in the ATP Rankings, is through to his first tour-level quarter-final of the season and improved to 7-11 on the season. He will next meet Brit Daniel Evans, who dismissed Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-3, 7-5.

Read More: Herbert Narrows His Vision

Italian qualifier Thomas Fabbiano upset second seed Laslo Djere of Serbia 7-6(5), 7-6(6) and will next meet France's Gilles Simon. American Sam Querrey, who made the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2017 (l. to Cilic), didn't face a break point and dropped only eight service points (37/45, 82%) to beat Serbian Dusan Lajovic 6-2, 6-3 in only 50 minutes.

Querrey will next face fifth seed Fernando Verdasco, who beat Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero 6-7(4), 6-3, 7-6(2). Verdasco, who saved both break points faced, trails Querrey 1-4 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, but the two have never played on grass.

Top Seeds Advance In Doubles
In doubles, Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah beat home favourites Daniel Evans/Lloyd Glasspool 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 to setup a semi-final showdown with Dominic Inglot/Austin Krajicek, who beat Marcus Daniell/Wesley Koolhof 3-6, 6-4, 10-7.

Third seeds Fabrice Martin/Edouard Roger-Vasselin dismissed Ben McLachlan/Frederik Nielsen 6-3, 6-4 and will next meet second seeds Maximo Gonzalez/Horacio Zeballos, who beat Rohan Bopanna/Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 6-3.

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