The resolute performance of Taylor Fritz has reverberated through the opening week of the US Open, as he propelled himself into the fourth round with a commanding victory over Czech newcomer Jakub Mensik on Friday. On the occasion of Mensik's 18th birthday, Fritz delivered a masterclass on Louis Armstrong Stadium, securing a decisive 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 triumph.
With his scintillating performance, Fritz has notched his first appearance in the Round of 16 at Flushing Meadows after a span of eight entries, conceding a mere 13 games along the way. The World No. 9 is now poised to clash with #NextGen ATP talent, Swiss player Dominic Stricker, who has impressively navigated 14 sets to achieve his maiden entry into the second week of a Grand Slam.
In a post-match interview, Fritz emphasized the significance of his convincing advancement. He highlighted the advantages of preserving his energy and minimizing fatigue, a result of not enduring grueling five-set matches in the earlier rounds.
"It’s so important," Fritz articulated, "My body is going to be feeling a lot better than someone who’s had a couple of five setters back-to-back, so it’s always something you’re looking for when you’re looking to make a deep run at a Slam, to get through these matches without too much fatigue."
Fritz's Masterful Display Dominates Mensik
Despite Mensik's emergence as a force in the making, it was Fritz's authoritative presence that took center stage from the outset.
Employing a commanding serve and dominant forehand, he imparted a lesson in precision and intensity to his young adversary. Fritz's first-serve prowess shone as he claimed 30 out of 33 points, steadfastly defending his service game and refusing to face a single break point.
With 25 winners in his arsenal, juxtaposed with Mensik's six, Fritz showcased his unwavering prowess. Impressively, he has not surrendered a single service game throughout the tournament. Reflecting on his groundbreaking advance to the second week at Flushing Meadows, Fritz candidly expressed a mix of relief and achievement.
He acknowledged the long-standing anticipation for this milestone and conveyed his determination to go even further. "It’s more of a relief than anything. I’ve been wanting this and expecting it for a while. It does feel really good to be in the second week for the first time and we’re looking for a lot more." Fritz's early-round encounters, where he shoulders the burden of being the favorite, were not overlooked.
He acknowledged the added pressure and revealed the confidence derived from his triumphant passage through these rounds. His unblemished record of facing and saving just three break points throughout the tournament has bolstered his resolve.
With a season-leading 34 hard-court victories shared alongside 2021 US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, Fritz continues to etch his mark. Emerging from a setback last year, Fritz's journey has been nothing short of remarkable.
With titles in Delray Beach and Atlanta, he maintains a strong presence in the Nitto ATP Finals contention, currently occupying the eighth spot in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin. The once-US Open boys' champion from 2015 has evolved into a resolute contender for further Grand Slam glory, as his record-breaking streak commands attention on the hallowed courts of Flushing Meadows.
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