2021 AUSTRALIAN OPEN: Fritz Almost Made History

Taylor Fritz

Melbourne, Australia

“If only”..Fritz is Probably Thinking

[27] Taylor Fritz is probably thinking, “if only I had not expended so much energy in the previous round, if only I had won the first set tiebreaker against [1] Novak Djokovic (SRB), I could have upset the defending champion and established myself as a serious contender”.

Fatigue or Belief, Which Was It?

There is no doubt that the American was mentally, physically, and emotionally drained.  It took massive amounts of energy (mental, emotional, and physical) to defeat his good buddy in the previous round.  No one is as match fit as they would like, and that may have cost him against the number one seed. 

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Yet, that’s the hand they were all dealt, and you play on.  Unfortunately, he did not quite have enough to cross the finish line.  Djokovic checked out in the third and fourth sets, but reestablished his dominance in the fifth set to win 7-6 (1), 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2.  Fritz will have to find a way to take the positives from this loss in order to enhance his growth.

How The Other Americans Fared

[10] Serena Williams had her back against the wall, narrowly escaping in straight sets. [101] Anastasia Potapova (RUS) served for the first set several times and could not suppress her nerves long enough to win the set.  The nineteen-year-old Russian would take a medical timeout, but it was all to no avail.  Despite not playing her best, Williams got the 7-6 (5), 6-2 victory.  If she hopes to advance deep in the draw, she will have to elevate her game because her next opponent, [7] Aryna Sabalenka (BLR), is playing at her best.

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Sabalenka overpowered [69] Ann Li, the other American left in this half of the draw. There was not much she could do and lost 3-6, 1-6.

A Few Seeded Players Lost

For the most part, all higher ranked seeded players won their matches; however, there were a few surprise losses. The stunner was [8] Diego Schwartzman (ARG), who lost to qualifier, [114] Aslan Karatsev (RUS),  3-6, 3-6, 3-6[15] Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) fell victim to injury and retired at 0-6, 0-1 down in his match against [18] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL).  [11] Denis Shapovalov (CAD) lost to his good friend and countryman [20] Felix Auger-Aliassime 5-7, 5-7, 3-6.

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