Delray Beach | Fritz leads the way

The top seeded Taylor Fritz, following an opening round bye, swung into action at the Delray Beach Open to open the defence of the title he won last year.

I have to play a lot more solid, safer, more disciplined and just be patient with myself when some of the shots I am going for aren’t really going in, Taylor Fritz

He was given a good runaround by the in-form Portuguese Nuno Borges before recording his 7-6(5) 6-4 victory and securing a quarter final place in the ATP 250 level event.

“The crowd was amazing. It’s one of my favourite things coming back to Delray every year. The crowd really shows up here, they love the tennis and I feel like I get a lot of support here, so it’s great.”

The world No.9 served strongly throughout the match in which he struck 14 aces, showing great patience in the windy conditions which prevailed.

“I have to play a lot more solid, safer, more disciplined and just be patient with myself when some of the shots I am going for aren’t really going in,” Fritz added. “So, I’m really happy with how I competed.”

One year ago, Fritz lost just one set en route to the title and will no doubt, hopes to repeat that this year.

“I remember last year when I won the tournament, I came in with like no expectations at all. I’d played the tournament like six times, had never won more than a match here, so I wasn’t expecting much and I think that’s a good mindset to have,” Fritz continued. “It allowed me to win the title last year, so I’m trying my best to approach it the same. But obviously it’s not the same when you are defending champion.”

The top seed will next play Australian Rinki Hijikata, who battled past 22-year-old Italian Matteo Arnaldi, the sixth seed, 6-2 3-6 6-4 in his search his search for a maiden title.

To complete the quarter finals in the top half of the draw American, a wild card entry, Patrick Kypson, 24, defeated Frenchman Constant Lestienne 6-4 6-4 converting four of his seven break points while his compatriot Marcos Giron beat Frenchman Adrian Manarino 6-0 6-7(5) 6-1.






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