Fritz Sinks Shapovalov, Sets Rune Clash In Miami
Taylor Fritz reached the fourth round at the Miami Open presented by Itau for the third consecutive year Sunday, earning a 6-4, 6-4 win against Denis Shapovalov.
In the latest chapter of their rivalry, the American was locked in from ball one inside Hard Rock Stadium, outlasting Shapovalov in the heavy-hitting baseline exchanges. Fritz committed just eight unforced errors to the Canadian’s 17, and was strong on serve, not facing a break point during the 81-minute clash.
"I couldn't really find that attacking formula because he was hitting the ball so hard and he was hitting his second serve so big," Fritz said. "It turned more into making balls and being steady. Because when he was putting balls in the court, I couldn't attack much off that."
With his victory, Fritz improved to 4-5 in his ATP Head2Head series against Shapovalov, having also triumphed in Acapulco earlier this year. The 25-year-old, currently No. 9 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, will next play seventh-seeded Dane Holger Rune in a blockbuster fourth-round meeting.
"In this next match against Holger I would be surprised if I didn't get more chances to attack," Fritz said. "Nothing to do with him, because against Emilio [Nava] and Denis, both these two matches, I have never seen a guy go after it so much and not allow me any options to attack. Hopefully in the next match I will get more chances to be aggressive."
Fritz, who defeated Emilio Nava in his opening match, is now 19-5 on the season. The American is chasing his second title of the year (Delray Beach) in South Florida and the second ATP Masters 1000 crown of his career, having triumphed in Indian Wells last year.
The 24th seed Shapovalov was aiming to earn his first Top 10 win since he defeated then-World No. 10 Fritz in Rome last year.