Taylor Fritz eases into Indian Wells final with win over Andrey Rublev | Inquirer Sports

Taylor Fritz eases into Indian Wells final with win over Andrey Rublev

/ 11:11 AM March 20, 2022
Taylor Fritz Indian Wells

Taylor Fritz celebrates his win against Andrey Rublev of Russia during the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 19, 2022 in Indian Wells, California. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP

Taylor Fritz swept aside seventh seed Andrey Rublev 7-5 6-4 on Saturday to become the first American man to reach the Indian Wells final in a decade.

Fritz now faces 21-time Grand Slam winner Rafa Nadal, who emerged victorious in an all-Spanish semifinal clash of generations against 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz.

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An Indian Wells semifinalist in 2021, Fritz took another step by reaching Sunday’s final where he will try to become the first American to lift the title since Andre Agassi in 2001.

John Isner was the last American to appear in the final in 2012.

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“It doesn’t seem real,” said Fritz, after reaching his first ATP Tour Masters 1000 final. “It’s a dream come true.

“All the hard work and stuff I have put in throughout the years I can finally see it paying off. It feels like the reason I play tennis.”

Rublev arrived at Indian Wells riding the momentum from back-to-back titles in Marseille and Dubai but saw his 13-match winning run come to a screeching end in the California desert.

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World number 20 Fritz got the contest off to blazing start by breaking Rublev at the first opportunity, charging into a 3-0 lead.

The American had looked in complete command serving for the opening set at 5-3 when Rublev finally began to hit his mark and broke back.

But Fritz did not lose focus, breaking Rublev a second time at 6-5 to avoid a tiebreak, leaving his opponent screaming into the desert sky and punching his racket after dropping his first set of the tournament.

The second set produced the tight baseline battle expected from the two 24-year-olds but Fritz again claimed the decisive break to clinch the match when Rublev dumped his return into the net.

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TAGS: Indian Wells, Rafa Nadal, Taylor Fritz
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