Delray Beach | Fritz and Paul make title round

Mixed fortunes for last week’s two Dallas finalists as winner Tommy Paul progressed into the title round of the Delray Beach Open with a sound win over Frances Tiafoe while Marcos Giron fell in his semi-final following a tighter contest with the top seeded Taylor Fritz.

For Paul, the third seed secured his seventh consecutive win with a 6-2 6-2 victory over the second seed Tiafoe at the ATP 250 level event, converting all four break points he raised as he improved his record over his American countryman to 3-1.

“I feel like I came out playing really well from the jump and I was able to maintain my level throughout the whole match,” Paul said in his on-court interview. “That’s obviously super difficult with a guy as talented as Frances is. He can change the match so quickly, so that was the goal, to keep my momentum going throughout the whole match and I think I did a pretty good job.”

Looking ahead to the final when he hopes to collect his third career title, he added: “Maybe [it gives me] a little more confidence to go after those shots on break point or deuce points, that always helps.

“Confidence is huge in this sport and obviously I’m playing well right now. Today I think I played one of the best matches of the year, if not the past two years, because I didn’t miss too many balls today.”

Meanwhile Fritz battled for one hour and 47-minutes to get past Giron 7-6(8) 6-2 in the second semi-final and hopes to become the first player since James Blake (2007-08) to win the title in consecutive years.

The American No.1 fired 10 aces and also kept Giron under pressure on his own serve by converting four of 15 break points.

“I was playing well in the first but missed some chances later in the set, although he played the big points well,” Fritz commented. “I tried to not let that bother me and I came back and kept playing well and didn’t get frustrated.”

In their previous four encounters Fritz and Paul have shared wins with the latter claiming their most recent clash in a third-set tie-break almost one year ago.

Tommy Paul also looking for second title within a week

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)



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