Team World’s Taylor Fritz is on a quest to strike at the center of Team Europe’s protection.
Three years after his Laver Cup debut at Geneva, American Taylor Fritz arrives at The O2 celebrating a career-high singles rating of No.12 and hoping to faucet into the more or less tennis that resulted in him profitable his first ATP Masters 1000 identify in Indian Wells previous this 12 months.
It’s a problem that he’s greater than in a position to embody in a stand-out season and with a sensational Laver Cup 2019 victory over best 10 participant Dominic Thiem to attract on.
“Knowing I have to beat one of the top guys… that’s going to give us the best chance of winning. It’s a team competition, so I just want to do what’s asked of me. That might be tougher than in previous years, but I’m ready to go.”
Fritz’s 2022 highlights come with a overcome Team Europe staple Rafael Nadal in the Indian Wells ultimate (the place he changed into the first American guy to seize the identify since Andre Agassi in 2001). A couple of months later, Fritz endured to polish at Wimbledon sooner than shedding a nail-biting five-set quarterfinal to the 22-time Grand Slam champion on Centre Court.
It used to be a shattering loss, however the American proved he may just push certainly one of the biggest avid gamers in the historical past of tennis proper to the edge.
“These guys, they’re so good at Slams. But a lot of beating them is also kind of beating the name you’re playing against, just having that belief that you can do it,” Fritz mentioned at Wimbledon.
“I think that’s a big hurdle to get over. I think that’s something that has definitely changed for me more recently, is that I do believe they’re beatable. But it still takes a hell of an effort to be able to beat them.”
He could be thrilled to stand Nadal for a 3rd time this 12 months at Laver Cup.
“I would love to get on court with him again and have another chance,” he says.
“It’s amazing for him to be going the way that he is and for as long as he has been. It’s crazy that he’s still competing at the absolute highest level.”
Fritz says the key to Team World claiming a maiden Laver Cup is apparent: get wins on day 3, when each and every fit is price 3 issues.
“From what I’ve learned, yes, every match matters, but you have to be winning matches on day three,” he explains. “That’s what it’s going to come down to.”
How it’s going
Despite a foot harm that sidelined Fritz for many of the clay court docket season and impacted his off-court coaching, Fritz has received a complete 35 fits main into Laver Cup.
He added a 3rd profession identify in Eastbourne previous to Wimbledon, the place he made his first main quarterfinal, and he additionally reached the ultimate 8 at the Cincinnati Masters, defeating No.8 Andrey Rublev in the spherical of 16.
On taking part in Laver Cup
In his 2nd total Laver Cup look, Fritz needs to turn the script: “It’s gotta be our time,” he says of the 0-4 report. “It’s been a while and I think that it’s finally time – we need this win. We’ve waited long enough.”
Fritz is aware of he would possibly wish to conjure up the type of magic he produced towards Nadal at Indian Wells – and he additionally wouldn’t thoughts a 3rd profession assembly towards Roger Federer.
“I would love to play Fed,” Fritz admits. “I’ve played Roger twice and I’ve never beaten him. I would love to have a shot at it.”
Fritz anticipates the roaring welcome that Team Europe will obtain from The O2 crowd, however says it received’t be intimidating – on the opposite – invigorating.
“It’s going to be amazing to see how the crowd reacts to those guys being called out,” he says. “It’s exciting for us. It might be more intimidating if it wasn’t a team atmosphere, but I have a whole team behind me.”
That group environment, led through Captain John McEnroe, is one thing Fritz relishes and will’t wait to be part of once more.
“[Laver Cup] is unlike anything you feel on tour when you’re playing on your own. You’re playing for the team,” he says. “You’re getting pumped, but you can feed off of the team because they want it as bad as you do. It makes it that much more special being in team competition format.”