Fritz Fires Into US Open QFs As American Ascent Continues
The ninth seed defeated #NextGenATP Swiss Dominic Stricker 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-4 to reach the last eight in New York for the first time. With his win, three American men (also Ben Shelton and Frances Tiafoe) have made the last eight at the tournament for the first time since 2005.
"I'm really happy. I feel like from the ground I've been playing good tennis all week. Then I feel like in the second and third sets today, [my] serve started coming together. I feel like how I closed out the match, the last two sets, I feel like my serve started feeling the best it's felt," Fritz said. "Just in time, I feel like everything's coming together."
One year ago, Fritz suffered a heartbreaking first-round exit at Flushing Meadows to then-World No. 303 Brandon Holt, which was documented on hit Netflix docuseries Break Point. Now he will play 23-time major winner Novak Djokovic for a place in the semi-finals after the Serbian defeated Croatian qualifier Borna Gojo.
"Novak's Novak. It's tough," Fritz said. "I said it on court, he's gotten me seven times. There's no one on Tour that has any kind of a record like that against me, so I'm hoping one of these times I've got to get him. US Open quarters would be a pretty good time to get him."
Fritz has shown no residual effects from his 2022 loss to Holt. The American No. 1 has not lost a set through four matches and has lost just one service game, which came against Stricker inside Louis Armstrong Stadium.
There was not much difference between Fritz and Stricker, a 2022 Next Gen ATP Finals competitor who upset Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round. Both men dominated with their first serve and tried to dictate play. The home favourite won 83 per cent of his first-serve points and the Swiss 82 per cent.
But Fritz, who hit 17 aces, was more opportunistic throughout the match, which proved key. The six-time ATP Tour titlist converted three of his four break points while his lefty opponent managed to convert just one of four.
Fritz took a medical timeout after the second set to receive treatment on his feet. On the first changeover of the set, Stricker received treatment on his right side. After eight service holds, Fritz leaned into a backhand to secure the critical break and then served out the match.