Taylor Fritz said it was “crazy” to complete to win the ATP 500 event in Tokyo straight out of quarantine. After testing positive for COVID-19 in South Korea and pulling out of Seoul, Fritz spent a week in quarantine.
Fritz, who didn’t even know if he would be able to compete in Tokyo, ended up winning it all after beating Frances Tiafoe 7-6 (3) 7-6 (2) in the final. Fritz now has three titles in 2022 and he has broken into the top-10 for the first time in his career – he is now the eighth-ranked player in the world.
“[It’s] crazy, I don’t even think it’s set in just how fast the last four or five days have been. It’s so crazy, and I couldn’t have written it any better. It’s exactly what I needed for the Race, for my ranking , to kind of put me in a good position for the end of the year, so it’s amazing,” Fritz said, per the ATP website.
Fritz on edging out Tiafoe in two tight sets
In the Tokyo final, Fritz took on fellow American Tiafoe. Fritz found himself down by an early break, but he broke back Tiafoe in the fourth game as the first set eventually went into a tie-break.
In the first-set tie-break, Fritz took an early 4-1 lead and never looked back as he realized his third set point to win a tight opener. As no breaks were seen in the second set, another tie-break was seen . Fritz got off to a stunning start to the second-set tie-break as he opened a 6-1 lead, before realizing his second match point to complete a two-set win.
“Both tie-breaks, I don’t think I missed a first serve, which is a huge key, coming up with it in the big moments. I felt extremely calm and I felt like I had a lot of clarity in making decisions on the court. For playing such a big match in a final, that’s huge to not be nervous and feel very calm and locked in,” Fritz said.