American tennis star Taylor Fritz didn’t want to panic after falling down early to Great Britain’s Dan Evans at the Rome Masters and he managed to do so.
Fritz, ranked at No. 31 in the world, handed a 6-3 6-2 loss to Evans in his Rome opener.
Evans made a good start to the match, having broken Fritz for an early 3-1 lead.
However, Fritz kept his composure as he responded with back-to-back breaks to win five games in a row, overturn the deficit and win the opener.
Evans also lost his serve in the opening game of the third set but saved three breaks points in the third game to avoid going down by two breaks.
Evans also saved a break point in the fifth game but dropped his serve once again in the seventh game as Fritz served out for the match in the eighth game.
“I was really frustrated to give away the early break,” said Fritz. “He played two pretty good points, then I missed two forehands. I thought I was hitting the ball really well right from the beginning. I just told myself not to get too upset about it, as I was playing well. Dan has been playing well lately, beating Novak in Monte-Carlo, so it’s great to get a strong win. I am going to try my best [against Djokovic].”
Fritz plays Novak Djokovic next
Djokovic, seeded at No. 1, had a first round bye at the Rome Masters.
Djokovic and Fritz clashed at the Australian Open earlier this year and the Serb claimed a tight five-set win over the American.
“We played twice on clay in 2018, in Monte-Carlo and Madrid,” said Fritz, looking ahead to the Djokovic match. “I got beaten pretty bad those two times. I feel better prepared to play him now, after the match in Australia.”