MEMPHIS, February 12, 2016
Three US-Americans featured the conclusion of the second round at the $693,425 Memphis Open when 18-year-old wild card Taylor Fritz scored his biggest win to date on the ATP World Tour on Thursday.
Fritz upset fellow compatriot and tournament’s second seed Steven Johnson 7-6, 7-6 to reach his first quarterfinals. The Californian teenager survived 12 aces, hitting 7 of his own to prevail in one hour and 56 minutes.
“I played the big points well,” Fritz said. “He had a lot more chances than me. He didn’t do anything wrong, but I played just about as well as I could play on the big points. I think that was the difference.”
Fritz lost his service two times, but capitalized on two of his own break point chances. Although it was the pair’s first tour meeting, both players know each other very well.
“It’s funny because we practice with each other all the time, and he always breaks me in the first game,” Fritz revealed. “I guess we had to get that out of the way. Usually when I practice with him, I don’t do so well. I usually don’t win.”
“He played an insane match,” Johnson said. “It’s the best he’s played at this level by far. It’s a tough one for me, but it’s not the end of the world. There’s a tournament next week so I’ll just have to get ready for that.”
Fritz will take on Benjamin Becker next. The 34-year-old German, who is playing in Memphis the ninth time, knocked out seventh seed John Millman through a 6-2, 7-6 victory in one hour and 20 minutes. Becker’s best result in Memphis came in 2012 when he lost in the semi-finals to Milos Raonic.
Third seed Donald Young has reached his first quarterfinals of the season, beating Marcel Granollers 6-1, 7-6. The 26-year-old Atlanta resident won 57% of the total points and converted four of his 11 break point chances to seal victory in one hour and25 minutes.
Young faces Ricardas Berankis in the stage of the final eight. The world number 102 from Lithuania ousted eighth seed Damir Dzumhur 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 23 minutes.