Sorry, Partner: Fritz Gains Revenge On Doubles Teammate In Los Cabos
#NextGenATP American Taylor Fritz exacted revenge against Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis on Monday to start the third edition of the Abierto Mexicano de Tenis Mifel presentado por Cinemex in Los Cabos.
Fritz lost to Kokkinakis in last year’s quarter-finals, and the Aussie went on to reach the final (l. to Sam Querrey). But this time, Fritz squeaked past the 22-year-old right-hander 7-6(6), 7-6(5) to advance and even their FedEx ATP Head2Head series (1-1).
“I played well. It was a lot like last year’s match. It could have really gone either way… just a couple points here and there. I’m really happy to get through,” Fritz said.
He is looking to reach his second ATP World Tour final (Memphis 2016) and solidify his place among the top seven in the ATP Race To Milan. The 20-year-old is currently in sixth place.
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The top seven will automatically qualify for the Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held 6-10 November in Milan, while the eighth spot will be reserved for the winner of an all-Italian qualifier tournament to be held just prior to the prestigious 21-and-under event. Players must be born in 1997 or later to be eligible for the Next Gen ATP Finals.
Fritz and Kokkinakis will meet again this week. They’re playing doubles together. “It’s so funny because before the tournament started I knew I was going to play him. Before the draw even came out, I said to my coach, ‘I bet I’m going to play Thanasi’… It happens sometimes,” Fritz said.
In singles, Fritz will next face Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka, who broke four times and beat Portugal’s Gastao Elias 6-4, 6-3. Nishioka saved six of eight break points and advanced in 85 minutes.
#NextGenATP American Michael Mmoh picked up his fifth tour-level win of the year (5-3), beating compatriot Ernesto Escobedo 6-3, 4-6, 6-1. The 20-year-old Mmoh won 86 per cent of his first-serve points (38/44) and broke Escobedo twice in the final set. He will next meet Canadian Peter Polansky or Daniel Elahi Galan of Colombia.
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Did You Know?
Fritz made the 2016 Memphis final in only his third tour-level event, falling to Japan’s Kei Nishikori.