Another match against Novak Djokovic and another loss to Taylor Fritz. The American extended his unfortunate encounter against the Serb to 0-8, this time losing on the biggest stage of all, on Arthur Ashe Court in the finals of the US Open.
With Fritz only once coming close to beating Djokovic, at the 2021 Australian Open, when he forced the 23-time Grand Slam champion into a decider, the 25-year-old made it clear why a match could once again be one-sided. In this face to face.
Fritz fails to provide a big favor when it matters most
During the North American hard court season, Taylor Fritz earned a reputation for delivering powerful serves under pressure. However, when it mattered most, in a Grand Slam quarterfinal against the sport’s best returner, the great server failed.
“Yeah, match ideas. It’s like I need to do a lot better on my serve. I need to serve a lot better and not waste so many points on my serve,” explained Fritz.
“If I can actually serve to the standards that I know I can serve, then, you know, maybe I can work with something, that would be more congruent.
“Obviously Novak being Novak, he’s going to make me feel like I’m hitting my serve, you know, worse than I am, but in other matches, I think I wouldn’t be penalized for missing so much first serve. Maybe I could get away with it, but with him, I have to I serve better than 50 percent, and I have to hit my points better. That’s just the way it is.”
Djokovic takes advantage of Fritz’s second serve
Taylor Fritz served better than 50 percent, but just barely, hitting 55 percent of his first serve and winning 73 percent of his first serve points. Those numbers are down significantly from Fritz’s previous matches, as the Los Angeles native failed to drop a set prior to this encounter.
“It’s not rocket science,” Fritz continued. “Like, I won’t be able to beat him or hold him when he can return two serves all day or my first serves only go to him. I need to serve well, I need to hit points.”
Djokovic faced a second serve for the American player, winning 29 points out of 40, and Fritz achieved success only 28 percent of the time when he had to hit the shot.
Against a guy I failed to beat in seven attempts, that wouldn’t do. And Fritz knows it, as the American summed up how the match unfolded in one apt sentence:
“He was strong, and I didn’t perform well enough on a lot of the important points.”
After that, Fritz plans to take a week off from tennis, and the 25-year-old hopes he’ll remember how to serve again when he gets back.