World No. 33 Taylor Fritz noted that his tight win over Denis Shapovalov was a “mentally a huge victory.”
Fritz, who is unseeded this week in Doha, recovered from a set down to beat No. 4 seed Shapovalov 5-7 6-3 7-5 and reach the semifinal.
Fritz blew two consecutive match points at his serve in the 10th game of the third set but then broke Shapovalov in the 11th game and served out for the match in the 12th game.
“It was mentally a huge victory,” Fritz said, per the ATP website. “Not serving out at 5-4, 40/15, really took a lot out of me, particularly after our last match at the US Open last year. I didn’t want to lose again, and so I pushed harder. I’ve had a lot of court time and close wins, coming through under pressure, so I want to keep it going.”
Fritz didn’t win a point on Shapovalov’s serve in the first set
“I don’t think I have ever gone a set without winning a point on someone’s serve,” said Fritz. “That was kind of crazy. He was just playing really, really well in the first set. I think I just had to play myself into the match. I felt like I was holding [serve] pretty easily. He played a pretty insane game when he broke me in the first set, so I have to just give credit. He played a very good game to break me… I was lucky when the chance came, I was able to take it.”
Luckily for Fritz, he didn’t pay the price for blowing two consecutive match points in the 10th game of the third set.
When asked about what he was thinking after the 10th game of the third set, Fritz said: “The last time after it happened, I was so defeated by it because I knew I choked. This time, I didn’t make first serves on either one of the two points. He hit a pretty nice shot at 40/15. Then I made some dumb errors to get broken… I blew it, but I just told myself, ‘I can’t let this happen again. I need to be positive and try to come back and break him.’ I broke him. When I went to serve it out, I told myself, ‘I need to play this game very aggressively’.”