UBITENNIS EXCLUSIVE: Taylor Fritz Interview
An interview with the #NextGen American Taylor Fritz about
How was it playing against a guy that you have played doubles with earlier this week? [Reilly Opelka]
It goes deeper than just us being friends, Reilly was the best man at my wedding, we’re best friends. We’ve had dinner together every night. We’re best friends off the court and then when you stop on the court, you try to be respectful, but you also have to compete and try to beat him. Those are the toughest matches for me for sure, playing against my close friends. It is never easy and I’m happy to get through that one.
At Australian Open, you were in qualifying and played against Sam Groth and sent him into singles retirement. Was that a special match for you? How was it playing in that atmosphere?
(Laughs) I tried to take it like any other match and not think about this being his last match. I also knew that I had to be ready, because no one is going to retire on a bad match. I knew he was could not be any more fired up, this being his last match, and I knew he wanted to have a deep run in Australia. I knew that I would have to play well. The atmosphere was good. Of course the crowd was loving him and I had to expect that– it’s Australia. It was a special moment.
You are 20 years old, but you are married and a father, how do you manage being a father and being on tour at such a young age?
It’s tough to always be around, you’re traveling so much. My wife and son try to be on the road with me as much as possible. She’s an amazing mom and gives Jordan everything he needs. Her family also helps out a lot. I train and play tennis, but anytime I’m not doing that I spend as much time as I can with my son. It’s a lot of added motivation to do well on tour. Any parent that has a long job tries to do their job well and also be with their family, so that’s what I am trying to do.
There’s many young American players coming through, in what ways do you stand out and in what ways are you similar?
Similarities: We’re all very good. (Laughs) You know, we’re all friends. I think what sets me apart is the way I play and my approach to things. Everyone has their own game style. The way I play– the big serve, the big forehand, the power strokes. The most similar game to mine is probably [Jared] Donaldson, but I think I’m a little more serve-oriented.
You’re still eligible to play at the #NextGen Finals in Milan, is that one of your goals?
Yeah, I’d say I have other goals, but meeting those other goals would qualify me. I’m looking to finish 2018 in Top 50 as a short-term goal. I got up to No. 53, maybe a year and a half ago and I’d really like to get back there and break Top 50. Also if I’m able to do that, I would like to be seeded at Australian Open next year, that would be my biggest goal. If I do either one of those, I think I will qualify for the #NextGen Finals.