Taylor Fritz has won his first match against 22-year old Alexander Zverev. The American picked his first win over the Shanghai finalist in the first round of the Swiss Indoors in Basel. Fritz beat Zverev with a convincing 7-6(7), 6-4 performance to reach the second round.
In the opening set, we saw a close contest with both players winning 41 points, but it was Fritz’s heroic run in the tiebreak that put him over the hump. Despite Zverev having a 4:0 lead in the tiebreak, the American clawed back and clinched the first set with an ace.
The 21-year old American used his chances in the third game of the second set and got the only service break of the match. He ended the match in style – with a fantastic two-handed backhand winner.
I was completely flat for some reason. I was tired and not focused at all. It was a weird feeling, Zverev commented after the loss.
The way I played today, in my current mental stage, I’m not going to beat anybody. I’m very disappointed, but it’s more about myself than the result, Zverev added.
The defeat lowers Zverev’s chances of defending his title at the season-ending ATP Finals, which will take place at the O2 Arena in London during November 10-17. The German star is currently seventh in the season-long standings with 2,855 points and has a 410 point lead over Roberto Bautista Agut, the ninth-placed player. The Spaniard began his Basel campaign, with a win over last year’s runner-up, Romanian Marius Copil.
Fognini, the Monte Carlo Masters champion, stands 11th in the ATP Race to London, with 290 points less than his fellow countryman Matteo Berrettini, who holds the eight spot. When asked about the ATP Finals, Fognini stated:
If I qualify – fine. If not, then I can spend more time with the family. That’s the most important thing anyway.
In Federer’s half of the draw, both the fifth-seeded Fabio Fognini and the third-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas advanced on Tuesday. Fognini beat qualifier Alexei Popyrin 6-2, 6-4, while Tsitsipas eased past Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 6-3, 7-6.
Federer will next face Radu Albot on Wednesday. The 49-ranked Moldovan won against Dušan Lajović after three sets – 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Richard Gasquet, the two-time semifinalist at the Swiss Indoors, defeated Juan Ignacio Londero in two sets – 6-1, 7-6(4).