Taylor Fritz: ‘I had to play my absolute best to beat Frances Tiafoe’
Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe are relishing their friendly rivalry after a tight fought Japan Open final in Tokyo.
Fritz came out on top 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-2) to claim the title. In doing so he snapped Tiafoe’s unbelievable streak of 13 successive tiebreaks won stretching back to before the US Open.
“Congrats to my guy Taylor,” Tiafoe said during the trophy ceremony. “Cracking the top 10, winning this year’s event. Unbelievable play you’ve had lately and all year. I’m tired of losing to you but hopefully we’ll have many more battles and I’ll get him.”
Taylor Fritz will be world number eight come the next rankings update. Tiafoe too will enjoy a new career-high of 17th following his Tokyo campaign.
He and Fritz have now played six times at tour level. Tiafoe won their first meeting at Indian Wells in 2016. However, Fritz has since won five times consecutively to lead the head-to-head 5-1.
“First off I want to congratulate Frances on a great week,” Taylor Fritz began in his speech. “He’s been on fire recently and I had to play my absolute best to beat him today. We’ve spent a lot of time together the last couple of weeks. He’s one of my really close friends and I’m sure it’s not going to be the last time we play for a big title.
“Always fun. battling man, congrats to you.”
This is Fritz’s third ATP title of the season. He is perfect in finals this year after winning Eastbourne, Indian Wells and Tokyo. Moreover, he now has titles at 250, 500 and 1000 level. The title crowns a ‘crazy’ week for the American after looking likely to miss the tournament altogether.
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