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American Taylor Fritz misses big opportunity to make round of 16

Taylor Fritz hits a return to Denis Shapovalov

Taylor Fritz hits a return to Denis Shapovalov during their match on the fifth day of the U.S. Open at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows on Friday. Credit: JASON SZENES/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock/JASON SZENES/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Taylor Fritz had a chance to get somewhere that he had never been before and he held a ticket to that destination.

The 22-year-old American served for the match at 5-3 in the fourth set against Denis Shapovalov in the third round of the U.S. Open on Friday on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Fritz never before had reached the round of 16 at a Grand Slam. And he didn’t do it on Friday.

Fritz couldn’t seem to get his big first serve in during that crucial ninth game, Shapovalov broke him, won the set tiebreak, gained in confidence and took the match, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (5) 6-2 in three hours and 26 minutes.

Fritz was brutally honest about how he came undone.

“The fourth set I played great all the way up until I served for it,” he said. “I just really didn’t come up with the shots I needed to come up with and that’s the most frustrating part. I played great, I put in all the work, everything I had to do, I had it and I just choked it.

“I pride myself on being clutch and serving these matches out and playing well when it matters.”

Virus concerns delay match

Adrian Mannarino’s match against German Alexander Zverev in Armstrong Stadium was delayed nearly three hours when the French player apparently expressing concerns over the restrictions of being in a bubble within a bubble after his countryman Benoit Paire had tested positive for COVID-19.

The USTA issued this statement: “The Zverev-Mannarino match was delayed while a collaborative dialogue with health officials was conducted today. Communication with the players was ongoing during the afternoon to keep them updated at all times. Given the sensitivity of the medical issues involved, the USTA is not able to provide further details.”

Mannarino was one of several players in contact with Paire who were forced to further isolate themselves within the USTA’s coronavirus bubble structure and had to agree to additional restrictions in order to play.

New York Sports