Taylor Fritz beats Fernando Verdasco to reach the fourth round at Indian Wells
US Next Gen Taylor Fritz came back from one set down to beat Fernando Verdasco 4-6 6-2 7-6 (7-1) in 2 hours and 7 seven minutes at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Fritz recovered from a slow start and turned around the match. He sealed the win after missing two match points in the 10th game of the third set on Verdasco’s serve.
Fritz converted three of the eight break points he created and dropped serve twice from the four opportunities he faced.
Verdasco served at 72 % in the first set and dropped just five points in five games. Fritz held serve four times, but he was broken to love in the third game. Verdasco wrapped up the first set with an ace in the 10th game after 31 minutes.
The Spanish player did not convert a break point in the first game of the second set before Fritz got the break in the sixth game after Verdasco made a double fault. The US player went up a double break after another double fault from Verdasco.
Verdasco made another double fault to go down 0-2 at the start of the third set, but he got the break back after Taylor made a forehand error in the third game.
Verdasco saved two break points in the 10th game to set up a tie-break. Fritz raced out to a 5-1 lead after Verdasco made two double faults and closed out the match with a strong forehand setting up a Round of 16 match against Borna Coric, who beat this year’s Dubai champion Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1 6-3 after 1 hour and 22 minutes.
“To pull out a match whenever it’s close like that can go either way. You’ re nervous. It just makes the feeling even better when you win and to have the crowd supporting as well. It’s like a like dream”, said Fritz.
Fritz won a ATP Challenger title in Newport Beach in California and entered the Indian Wells tournament fourth in the ATP Race to Milan. By reaching the fourth round Fritz is projected to reach the first position in the ATP Next Gen Race to Milan ahead of Andrey Rublev, whom the US player beat last Saturday.
Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas lost the first set but advanced to the Round of 16 after Dominic Thiem was forced to withdraw from the match injured, when he was trailing 3-6 6-4 4-2 after 1 hour and 45 minutes. The Austrian player got an injury on his ankle, while he was serving for the first set. Cuevas has achieved his best resulta t Masters 1000 level since losing to Thiem in the semifinals in Madrid one year ago.
The South American player fended off four break points in the second set before breaking Thiem in the 10th game to close out the second set forcing the match to the decider.
Thiem earned an early break in the sixth game after Cuevas made a double fault and sealed the first set after suffering from his ankle injury. Cuevas fended off three break points in the fifth game of the second set and another chance in the seventh game. He broke serve in the 10th game to seal the second set, when Thiem hit a poor backhand.
The third set went on serve until the sixth game, when Cuevas broke serve to open up a 4-2 lead. The number 30 seed advanced to the next round, after Thiem called it a day.