Friday, October 15, 2021

Fritz saves two match points, upsets Zverev in BNP

Taylor Fritz, shown in his second-round victory
over Brandon Nakashima, reached his first ATP
Masters 1000 semifinal. Photo by Paul Bauman
   No. 31 seed Taylor Fritz, playing in his native Southern California, survived two match points and stunned No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev of Germany 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) today in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
   Fritz, who won the Sacramento and Fairfield Challengers in Northern California back-to-back at 17 in 2015, overcame a 2-5 deficit in the third set to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 semifinal. 
   "I was really down and out, but I found a way to put myself into it," Fritz, who was born in Rancho Santa Fe in the San Diego area and lives in Rancho Palos Verdes in the Los Angeles region, said in an on-court interview. "I really wanted to make him have to close me out, and I was able to get back into the match. Normally, you would be so nervous in those situations and in the third-set tiebreak, but I felt so confident being aggressive, going after my game. It feels really great to play well with the pressure on."
   Fritz is scheduled to face No. 29 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia on Saturday after the 1:30 p.m. semifinal between No. 21 seed Cameron Norrie of Great Britain and No. 23 seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria (Tennis Channel). Basilashvili surprised No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal.
   Norrie won the Tiburon and Stockton Challengers in NorCal back-to-back in 2017.
   In Sunday's women's final, No. 27 seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus is set to meet No. 21 seed Paula Badosa of Spain. 
   Azarenka, who won Indian Wells in 2012 and 2016 and the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford in 2010, outlasted No. 24 seed Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in a matchup of Grand Slam champions.
   Badosa, a quarterfinalist in this year's French Open and Tokyo Olympics, outclassed No. 12 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia 6-3, 6-3 to gain the biggest final of her career.
   USTA Pro Circuit — Unseeded Maria Mateas of Chapel Hill, N.C., beat No. 3 seed Katie Volynets, 19, of Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area 6-2, 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the $25,000 Florence (S.C.) Open on hardcourts. 

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