25-year-old USA contender Taylor Fritz has so far had a strong start to his Indian Wells Masters title defence when he defeated fellow countryman Ben Shelton, 20, who is considered one of the top young players, before narrowly losing to Sebastian Baez in the third round of three games.
During the fourth seed, Hungarian Marton Fucsovics gave his younger American opponent a run for his money, but in the end, the local favourite, who had the majority of support from the crowd, prevented a shock and won with a score of 6:4 and 6:3 after an hour and 37 minutes of play.
Fritz is among the quarterfinalists in his home state of California and is expected to face either Stan Wawrinka or Yannick Siner in a match for a spot in the last four. Fucsovics has often displayed his exceptional defence from the bottom of the court and has had a notable advantage in the head-to-head matches, making it obvious from the start of the match, that for the world number 5, it was far from another contest mainly focused on the serve.
Despite the challenges, Fritz kept his cool and waited for the right moment, which arrived in the tenth set, when he turned up the pressure against his opponent, and with a successful forehand series marked the opener set. At times, it even appeared as though the world of tennis’ 84th-ranked player was on the verge of obtaining a win.
The 25-year-old American player’s performance improved noticeably as the clock ticked, and he managed to regain control of the situation by taking advantage of his opponent’s uncertainty at the beginning of the second half, using it to his advantage. On the other hand, Hungarian Fucsovics showed his superiority on the court and the more experience he has, which became apparent throughout the game as though the match was just getting started for him.