“After the match I was close to tearing up a bit!” Taylor Fritz on his third round victory at the Australian Open, says Roberto Bautista Agut has been a father-figure to him for his entire professional career

Taylor Fritz talks about reaching the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time and his next match against Stefano Tsitsipas.

Taylor Fritz
Taylor Fritz

Taylor Fritz made it to the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career after he defeated Roberto Bautista-Agut 6-0, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in a grueling 3 hour 16 minute encounter in the third round of the Australian Open 2022.

Fritz 0-7 in the third round of Grand Slams before this match and has lost in the third round of the Australian Open for the past three years. So, the win against Bautista-Agut was a huge one for the American, who will now face 4th seed Stefano Tsitsipas in the fourth round.

It’s something I’ve been waiting for a long time” – Fritz about making it to the fourth round

Taylor Fritz
Taylor Fritz

During his press conference following his third round win, Fritz said it was an emotional win for him saying that reaching the second week of a Slam has eluded him for a long time, and to do it now especially against a player like Bautista Agut who is like a father figure to him, means a lot.

“It is a huge win. It seems stupid, but after winning the match I was on the verge of tears. It seemed stupid because a lot of people have reached the second round of a Grand Slam, but it is something that is something that seemed to avoid me for a long time. I’ve had tough matches with very tough draws. It’s something I’ve been waiting for a long time. It means a lot to me, and to do it in front of someone who has practically been my father for my entire professional career.”

The American also mentioned that improvement in his ranking played a huge role and made his road to reach the fourth round a lot easier.

I was stuck between 25-32 places in the ranking. He told people that to make the fourth round of a Grand Slam it was better to go unseeded than to be between 25-32. If you are between 25 and 32, you will have a better chance of reaching the third round, but then you will face a player from the top 8. Maybe now it is more possible to win, but the last few years it has been Novak, Nadal and Federer. I knew I needed to get into the top 17-24 to get more opportunities. I’m proud. It was not easy. I had to beat a very tough opponent”.

The 20th seed will now face World No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas for a spot in the quarter-finals and says that he is feeling confident and might fancy his chances against the Greek in the fourth round clash.

 “We played quite a bit in the juniors. We’ve definitely had some battles, but I feel like it’s not a bad matchup for me at all.”

I’m playing well, so I kind of just have to recover well. Funny enough, I feel much better after this match than I did after my last match. If my body is feeling good and I’m feeling good, then I feel confident.”

Also read: ‘I panicked and missed my chances,’ Felix Auger Aliassime hands Dan Evans a humbling defeat in round three of Australian Open 2022