Friday, October 16, 2015

Fritz, 17, outclasses top seed in Fairfield Challenger

Taylor Fritz, 17, shown en route to the Sacramento title
last week, beat No. 1 seed Tim Smyczek 6-2, 6-3 to gain
the quarterfinals of the $50,000 Fairfield Challenger.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Taylor Fritz took another big step in his promising career on Thursday.
   Playing in his home state, the 17-year-old resident of Rancho Santa Fe in the San Diego area dismissed No. 1 seed Tim Smyczek of Tampa, Fla., 6-2, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Fairfield $50,000 Men's Pro Challenger at beautiful In Shape: Fairfield Rancho Solano.
   The 6-foot-4 (1.93-meter) Fritz won 27 of 32 points (84 percent) on his first serve and 11 of 17 points (64 percent) on his second delivery. He had six aces and no double faults, saved both break points against him and converted all three break points against the 100th-ranked Smyzcek, who's 10 years older than Fritz.
   It was Fritz's second career victory over a top-100 player. He beat then-No. 66 Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain in the first round at Nottingham, England, on grass on the elite ATP World Tour in June.
   Fritz, who will turn 18 on Oct. 28, turned pro in August before the U.S. Open. He took the boys singles title at Flushing Meadows and won last week's $100,000 Sacramento Challenger in only his second tournament at that level.
   Fritz is scheduled to play eighth-seeded Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia today. Kavcic defeated Jason Jung, a native of Torrance in the Los Angeles area who plays for Taiwan, 7-5, 6-3.
   Two other American teenagers advanced to the quarterfinals on Wednesday. No. 4 seed Jared Donaldson, 19, will face No. 5 Blaz Rola of Slovenia, and Frances Tiafoe, 17, will meet Darian King of Barbados.
   Rola, a 6-foot-4 left-hander, turned pro after winning the 2013 NCAA singles title as a junior at Ohio State.
   Today's featured match at 4 p.m. will be a matchup of 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) Germans. No. 3 Dustin Brown, who has a German mother and Jamaican father, will play No. 7 Daniel Brands.
   Both Brown, 30, and Brands, 28, have had success at Wimbledon. Brown stunned Rafael Nadal on Centre Court in the second round this year to improve to 2-0 lifetime against the 14-time Grand Slam singles champion. Brands reached the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2010.
At In Shape: Fairfield Rancho Solano
Second-round singles
   Dustin Brown (3), Germany, def. Tommy Paul, United States, 6-2, 7-6 (5).
   Daniel Brands (7), Germany, def. Alex Kuznetsov, United States, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (7).
   Blaz Kavcic (8), Slovenia, def. Jason Jung, Taiwan, 7-5, 6-3.
   Taylor Fritz, United States, def. Tim Smyczek (1), United States, 6-2, 6-3.
Doubles quarterfinals
   Mitchell Krueger and Tennys Sandgren, United States, def. Philip Bester and Peter Polansky, Canada, 3-6, 6-4 [11-9].
   Johan Brunstrom, Sweden, and Frederik Nielsen (2), Denmark, def. Sekou Bangoura, United States, and Jose Statham, New Zealand, 6-3, 6-2.
   Carsten Ball, Australia, and Dustin Brown (1), Germany, def. Frank Dancevic, Canada, and Henri Laaksonen, Switzerland,6-3, 3-6 [10-6].
Today's schedule
Stadium Court
(Starting at 11 a.m.)
   Frances Tiafoe, United States, vs. Darian King, Barbados.
   Blaz Kavcic (8), Slovenia, vs. Taylor Fritz, United States.
(Not before 4 p.m.)
   Dustin Brown (3), Germany, vs. Daniel Brands (7), Germany.
Court 1
(Starting at noon)
   Jared Donaldson (5), United States, vs. Blaz Rola (4), Slovenia. 
(Not before 2 p.m.; may be moved to Stadium Court)
   Johan Brunstrom, Sweden, and Frederik Nielsen (2), Denmark, vs. Dean O'Brien and Ruan Roelofse (3), South Africa.

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