5 Things To Know About Fritz, Who Qualified For Milan
Last year, a trio of Russians showed the tennis world at the Next Gen ATP Finals that the red, white and blue were on the rise. This year, with Americans Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz leading the way, players from the stars and stripes edition of the red, white and blue will be doing the same for the U.S.
The 20-year-old Fritz has qualified for the Next Gen ATP Finals, joining countryman Tiafoe, Alexander Zverev of Germany, Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas, Denis Shapovalov of Canada and Aussie Alex de Minaur as players to have qualified for the prestigious 21-and-under event, to be held 6-10 November at the Fiera Milano.
Eight players will compete in Milan, and the eighth and final spot will go to the winner of an all-Italian qualifier tournament to be held just prior to the Next Gen ATP Finals. Here are five things to know about Fritz:
1. He's Already Won Awards
Fritz is only 20 but he's already received accolades for his play on the ATP World Tour. In 2016, the American reached his first ATP World Tour final in only his third tour-level event (Memphis, l. to Nishikori).
At 18 years, 109 days, Fritz was the youngest ATP finalist since Japan's Kei Nishikori (18 years, 50 days) at the 2008 Delray Beach Open. Fritz finished 2016 as the youngest player inside the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings and received the ATP Star of Tomorrow presented by Emirates award.
2. He's A Dad
The year 2016 was a big one for Fritz. In July, he married Raquel Pedraza, who played at all four junior Grand Slams as a player. (Fritz talks about how they met here.) The couple welcomed their first child, Jordan, on 20 January 2017.
Watch: Fritz Introduces His Family
3. He Has Tennis In His Blood
Fritz's father, Guy Fritz, a former pro, was Taylor's first coach. But Fritz's mother, Kathy May Fritz, also helped mould her son's game. She was a Top 10 player on the women's tour and won seven WTA titles.
“I'd say she's a cool mom,” Fritz said.
Watch: Fritz Enjoys Support From His Mom, Who Reached Top 10
4. He Has Ice In His Veins
When a match reaches its crescendo in the form of a third-set tie-break, Fritz has a mantra he likely repeats to himself: “I don't lose third-set tie-breaks.”
Fritz is 12-2 in deciding-set tie-breaks, including ATP Challenger Tour matches, during the past three years. This year, he's 6-1, including wins against countryman Sam Querrey and Spain's Fernando Verdasco.
“It feels like I'm pretty clutch,” Fritz told ATPWorldTour.com.
5. He Relaxes With Video Games
With prize money, ATP Rankings points and career goals in mind, the stakes on the tennis court can be very high. That's why Fritz likes to relax off the court by doing something completely different – playing video games, especially FIFA.