“Had to Push a Little Bit Harder”: Taylor Fritz on His Narrow Escape Against Denis Shapovalov at Qatar Open 2021

Published 03/12/2021, 7:57 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 12, 2021 Taylor Fritz of the U.S. during his third round match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Kelly Defina


American professional Taylor Fritz escaped a close encounter against fourth seed Denis Shapovalov in the Qatar Open 2021 quarterfinals. After being a set down and losing three match points, he won the match 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.

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However, the pressure after losing the match points was not easy on the American star. In those moments, Fritz recalled his last encounter with the Canadian at the 2020 US Open, where the American had dropped match points against Denis Shapovalov and where the result was opposite from what he saw at Qatar. Thus, the American star fought back hard to change the outcome this time.

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Taylor Fritz did not want to lose again in the same situation

In the on-court interview post his victory, he opened up on the things that went through his head. “The feeling of not serving out that 5-4 game, 40-15 – that really took a lot out of me and put me down because obviously it’s like so much what happened last time we played,” Fritz said. He confessed that the situation also put him down, as it was similar to their last match.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 12, 2021, Taylor Fritz of the U.S. reacts during his third-round match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Kelly Defina

Most importantly, Fritz did not want to face the same defeat again. To achieve that, he pumped himself up under pressure and found a way to make it through.

“I had to tell myself mentally you can’t let it happen again,” he said. “I didn’t want to lose again on the same situation as last time, so I had to push a little bit harder.”

While being in such situations can be demanding, coming out of it as a winner is extremely rewarding. The American star revealed that giving his best in strenuous moments is beneficial to his playing style.

“I’m feeling good, I’ve had a lot of court time, a lot of close wins,” Taylor added. “The most important thing for my game is winning the big points and kind of coming through under pressure.”

Fritz said that he is convinced of his previous three performances in Doha and wants to keep going ahead.

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Who will Fritz face in the semifinals of the Qatar Open 2021?

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Fritz will meet Nikoloz Basilashvili in the semifinal of the Qatar Open 2021. The Georgian player stopped the Swiss maestro Roger Federer in the quarterfinals of the tournament.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 12, 2021, Taylor Fritz of the U.S. in action during his third-round match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Kelly Defina

In case he wins, the American will meet either defending champion Andrey Rublev or Roberto Bautista Agut in the final. Do you think Taylor will wear the Doha crown this year?

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Purav Joshi

662 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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