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Taylor Fritz becomes first American in 20 years to reach Monte Carlo singles SFs

Victoria Chiesa | April 14, 2023


For the first time in 20 years, an American man will play in the semifinals of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters after Taylor Fritz dethroned two-time defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas in Friday's quarterfinals.

 

Eighth seed Fritz was a 6-2, 6-4 winner over No. 2 Tsitsipas, his first win against the Greek star in four tries. Tsitsipas was on a 12-match winning streak in Monte Carlo, having won his first two career ATP Masters 1000 titles at the event in 2021 and 2022. 

Fritz broke Tsitsipas' serve four times in the 70-minute victory, and hit 17 winners. Conversely, Tsitsipas hit 18 unforced errors. The highest-ranking American man was particularly dominant on serve, winning 76% of the points played behind it. After winning the first four games of the match, he hardly put a foot wrong for the duration of the contest. 

 

"I thought my level today was very high. I think I played a very good match. Beating him here gives me a lot of confidence," Fritz said on-court afterwards. "It has given me the reassurance I need to know I can play well on clay. I seemed to play well on the big points. I took my chances. I knew that if I played too safe he would be able to get around and dictate on the forehand. So even in the pressure moments I pulled the trigger."

 

With his first clay-court Top 10 win, Fritz is the first American man since Vince Spadea in 2003 to get this far in Monte Carlo. He was previously 0-5 against Top 10 players on clay, too. 

Photo by Valery Hache/AFP via Getty Images.

"I just want to take it one at a time," Fritz told Prakash Amritraj of Tennis Channel afterwards, saying he felt Monte Carlo's center court, Court Rainier III, suits his game well.

 

"I am much more confident about my game after playing a match like that. I felt like everything was coming off really clean." 

 

While Spadea lost to No. 1 seed Juan Carlos Ferrero in the final four in 2003, Fritz will bid to reach his second career ATP Masters 1000 final when he faces No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev on Saturday. Fritz is 4-2 against Rublev all-time, but the two have ony played on hard courts. 

 

"He's going to get more time to set up on his forehand, get around on his forehand. When he gets time to unload on the forehand, he's super-dangerous. I'm hopefully going to have to have a similar performance to today. He's a good friend and it will be a tough match."

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