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Fritz Loses To Coric In A Battle @ The BNP Paribas Open Tennis In Indian Wells

Borna Coric of Croatia in action against Taylor Fritz of USA during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, USA, 14 March 2018. EPA-EFE/PAUL BUCK



Taylor Fritz delivered blunt analysis of a brutal ending.


The 20-year-old Fritz showed spirited fight fending off three match points against Borna Coric only to double fault on match point number four. [wind was swirling in the stadium in all directions]


Coric moved into his third career Masters quarterfinal with a gritty 6-2, 6-7 (6), 6-4 BNP Paribas Open victory, while Fritz shared the sting of self-inflicted wound in his post-match presser.


“You know, that was just a really tough one,” Fritz said. “It obviously sucks to compete so hard and come back the way I did in the second-set tiebreak and saved the match points just to double fault it away.


“You know, it sucks, and it’s probably the biggest match I have played in my career as far as, you know, make a quarterfinals of a Masters, points, and all that. So, you know, it’s really tough to lose that match.”


Coric will play either US Open finalist Kevin Anderson or 11th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut for a a semifinal spot.


Today’s clash two NextGen stars could be a prelude to future gripping Masters meetings between the 21-year-old Croatian and 20-year-old Fritz, whose father, Guy, mom, Kathy, and wife, Racquel, watched from the front row.


Whipping wind gusts wreaked havoc in the opening set, but Coric’s short preparation steps and ability to shorten his backhand backswing helped him navigate it.


Coric was on course for a straight-sets win charging out to a 4-0 tie break lead.


Taylor Fritz of USA in action against Borna Coric of Croatia during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, USA, 14 March 2018. EPA-EFE/PAUL BUCK

Fritz answered with a five-point run then Coric took the next two for his first match point. Fritz tomahawked a forehand winner down the line to save it before closing the set when Coric bungled an open court drop volley attempt into net.


Coric won a physical 28-shot rally holding for 5-4 at the two-hour mark.


Fritz fended off two more match points before the fatal double fault.


Fritz can look back on a breakthrough BNP Paribas Open performance, including an electrifying 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (1) victory over Fernando Verdasco.


In that match, Fritz kept his cool in the decisive breaker, while the veteran Spaniard gagged on serve spitting up three double faults.


In the opening round, Fritz fought off match point edging buddy Reilly Opelka before knocking out fellow NextGen star and US Open quarterfinalist Andrey Rublev.


Still, the sting of this loss will linger with Fritz, who spoke like a man who might be facing a sleepless night tonight.


“In tennis, you really have to take your opportunities,” Fritz said. “Today was an opportunity for me to get 180 points instead of 90 points, to make quarterfinals of a Masters instead of round of 16.


Like I said, there is positives to take out, but it stings not going that extra bit and doing what you think you could have. It’s tough, you know. Every week everybody is a loser except one person.”


Tennis Channel analyst Paul Annacone, who formerly coached Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and Tim Henman, has joined David Nainkin on Fritz’s coaching The son of tennis player parents, Fritz is aiming for all-court improvement.


“I think moving forward I’m looking to improve a lot of my shots, you know,” Fritz said. “I think when you improve your shots you get stronger mentally just because you have more confidence in what you’re doing on the court and you know you can hit certain shots in certain moments. So I think it’s about getting everything better so I can trust myself in those moments, you know.”


Editors Note • Currently sitting in players dining room. Taylor is three tables over enjoying his lunch with his family. He seems satisfied with the efforts he put out. He hasn’t showered. He still has his towel on his shoulders. And inhaled a burger or two. Borna is at the next table over enjoying his lunch. Body language and attitude and “after match play” you’d think Taylor won.

It was a great match! It’s Great to see so many talented young tennis players from all over the world making their marks on the ATP Tour..

Tennis has a bright future! (LJ)

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