Wimbledon | Fritz overcomes Zverev from two sets down

In what proved a remarkable performance, Taylor Fritz tuned the tables on Alexander Zverev to reach the quarter finals of this year’s Championships.

I felt like I could take it one set at a time and turn it around, Taylor Fritz

The American seeded 13, took out the German fourth seed 4-6 6-7(4) 6-4 7-6(3) 6-3 and immediately declared that he was in a dream.

For the first two sets, though, he must have thought he was in a nightmare.

Zverev, wearing a knee support on his left leg having apparently picked up an injury during his match with Cameron Norrie 48 hours earlier, dominated the first two sets in what proved a battle of servers.

There were few exchanges with Zverev attempting to keep the points as short as possible but the few rallies which did develop, were played at a high intensity with Fritz trying to move the German about the court and put pressure on that knee.

“Even though I lost the first two sets, I felt I was playing really good tennis and I felt like there were just a couple of points here and there. I felt like I could take it one set at a time and turn it around,” Fritz revealed later.

The Centre Court crowd wasn’t quite sure what to expect and those opening sets set a scene of power tennis between two big men who weren’t prepared to give any ground.

Zverev got the first break with a searing backhand cross court to take a 5-4 lead in the first set and take the lead after just 35-minutes.

In the second neither player raised a break opportunity, but the German 27-year-old extended that lead following a tense tiebreak to edge closer to the finishing line and a place in the last eight, a feat he has never realised at The Championships before.

But Fritz, the Eastbourne champion, would not back down, forcing Zverev to save break point early in the third as he started to turn the match around, making a decisive breakthrough in the ninth game and then calmly serving it out.


Alexander Zverev was regularly stretched

(Photo by Shi Tang/Getty Images)

It was major setback for Zverev who was now starting to show some frustration as the possibility of Fritz taking control was slowly being realised.

But he was determined enough not to roll over and forced another tie break but by now, Fritz was stamping his authority on the match, He raced into a 4-0 lead before claiming the second of his five set points to level the match.

The momentum was now firmly with Fritz and as his headband announced, he became the Boss in the fifth earning two break points early on, claiming the second when Zverev overhit a forehand. An then he kept his focus to seal a remarkable comeback after three-hours and 29-minutes.

At the end of the match the two players embraced and had an exchange of words with Fritz offering his condolences.

He said he told Zverev: “It’s all good. With his knee, I felt in the fifth set he wasn’t moving as well, so I just wished him the best.”

He will meet Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti in the quarter final, a completely different animal.

“It’s going to be a tough match, [Musetti] has had a really good grass-court season, he’s playing well,” Fritz admitted.

“It’s my second time in the quarter finals, but this time feels like I earned it a lot more. I’m really excited for the chance.”

And in view of his determination to reach the last eight, it would be difficult to bet against him ging further.





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