WATCH: Taylor Fritz has style cramped on Australian Open match point
Taylor Fritz is safely through to the third round of the Australian Open after overcoming Frances Tiafoe in straight sets, but he suffered cramping immediately from the shot that sealed the battle.
The 24-year-old American claimed the win 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) to oust Tiafoe, collapsing to the floor following his victorious backhand winner as he cramped up.
While it somewhat dampened the occasion momentarily, it did offer a nice moment between friends as Tiafoe help Fritz up before embracing.
“I’ve never in my life cramped on a tennis court before,” Fritz claimed in his post-match interview.
“I think I just saw my chance to kind of step in and finish it on that backhand line.
“So I put everything I had into it. I think I stepped so hard with my right [leg] into that ball, my calves just seized up and I went down.”
Winner on match point and falling down cramping! pic.twitter.com/TqTFvAMU8o
— Patrick Mouratoglou (@pmouratoglou) January 20, 2022
Fritz has now reached the third round of the Australian Open for a fourth consecutive year, though he has never been further.
In fact, the same is true of all the Slams for Fritz, reaching the third round once at each of Roland Garros and Wimbledon and twice at the US Open.
While match wins at Majors are always hard-fought, the one was particularly unpleasant said Fritz, as he does not like playing such a close friend as Tiafoe.
“[It’s] not really [enjoyable to play Tiafoe]. [He’s] one of my really good friends and he’s such a good guy and I said before the tournament he’s probably one of the most, if not the most dangerous unseeded player in the draw.
“So, tough draw for me to get him in the second round, I’m just happy to get through it.”
The world number 22 faces 15th seed Roberto Bautista Agut next for a place in his first Slam fourth round.
Should he defeat the Spaniard Fritz would then battle either Benoit Paire or, more likely, world number four Stefanos Tsitsipas.
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