Fritz Completes Double Duty To Reach Washington SFs
The top-seeded American earned a 6-3, 6-3 victory to extend his winning streak to seven matches, all on home soil, beginning with his Atlanta title run last week. He will face 12th seed Tallon Griekspoor on Saturday, after the Dutchman beat both Gael Monfils and J.J. Wolf on Friday, having split sets against Monfils before rain halted play Thursday evening.
"I've put in a lot of work the last couple of weeks before coming here. I knew that this is one of the most physically demanding parts of the season, playing in the heat," Fritz said post-match. "I definitely wasn't training and preparing to play two matches in a day, especially one following a three-hour match.
"I came out tonight in the second match playing really well, being aggressive. I got early breaks in both sets, which was kind of my strategy, to kind of give it everything I had early, get up a break, and then I could coast a bit and focus on my serve games."
Fritz saved the only two break points he faced against Thompson, both at 3-1 in the opening set. He has now saved 18 of 19 break points on the week after erasing eight from eight in the opening round against American qualifier Zachary Svajda and eight of nine against Murray.
Against Thompson, the World No. 9 broke in his first return game of both sets, then sealed the match with a third break in the final game.
If Fritz defeats Griekspoor on Saturday, he will move ahead of Casper Ruud into the all-important eighth spot in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin.
"The main thing is just making sure my body is going to be feeling good," Fritz said, looking ahead to the pair's second Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting. "It feels good now, but after all the tennis and all the playing, who knows how I'm going to wake up feeling tomorrow. I just have to take care of myself."
In the bottom half of the D.C. draw, Grigor Dimitrov advanced to the semis via walkover against Ugo Humbert, who pulled out with a left leg injury. The fifth-seeded Bulgarian will meet ninth seed Daniel Evans on Saturday after the Briton followed his afternoon win against Alexander Shevchenko with an upset of local favourite Frances Tiafoe.
Evans defeated the second-seeded American to close the day's play, improving upon his quarter-final run last year at the ATP 500. The World No. 30 played brilliant, attacking tennis down the stretch to win the last three games, overcoming 16 aces from Tiafoe.
The Briton broke serve in the opening game of both sets to set the tone in hostile territory. While the D.C. crowd helped will Maryland native Tiafoe to a 4-3 lead in set two, Evans recovered with two love holds before securing the decisive break. He saved four of five break points in the match, including one with a big serve as he served out the match.