Indian Wells | Crowds lift Fritz
The 20-year-old local boy was making good and there could be no denying that the support Taylor Fritz received from the crowd was a major ingredient in his victory over the Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco.
Fritz came through 4-6 6-2 7-6(1) with the crowd chanting and rhythmically clapping his name during his third round match at the Indian Wells Masters 1000.
I tried to just focus up on my service game after I lost those two, and I told myself to just make him beat me in a third-set breaker because that's my specialty, Taylor Fritz
“It’s an absolute dream come true,” said Fritz, who was visibly clearly moved by the experience. “I never thought I’d be standing here doing this in front of this crowd.”
Fritz, who started the year ranked 104 and moved to 74th before the tournament, had two match points in the 10th game of the third set but couldn’t capitalize.
“I tried to just focus up on my service game after I lost those two, and I told myself to just make him beat me in a third-set breaker because that’s my specialty,” he explained after collecting his 11th third set tiebreak win to just one loss. “I think it speaks to my strengths on court, which is just being clutch and playing my best tennis in the big moments.”
Fritz, who will face 21-year-old Borna Corric for a place in the last eight after the Croat took out another Spaniard, the 13th seeded Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1 6-3.
Meanwhile Roger Federer rolled past the 25th seed Filip Krajinovic 6-2 6-1 as he chased his sixth Indian Wells Masters title.
“I was playing aggressive and feeling like he was not loving my slice,” said the world number one Federer. “I was able to mix up my game nicely, make it difficult for him.”
In other matches, Jeremy Chardy beat Adrian Mannarino 7-5 4-6 6-1 in an all-French matchup; and 11th seeded Pablo Carrena Busta of Spain defeated Daniil Medvededv of Russia 6-1 7-5.