Taylor Fritz was forced to stop his service game mid-match to throw up. The world No 5 crashed out in the semi-final of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel on Friday in what became the longest match of the tournament’s history and was visibly struggling in the tough conditions.
There were bizarre scenes in Acapulco on Friday as third seed Fritz stopped serving to run and find somewhere to throw up. The 25-year-old could be seen keeling over the towel boxes at the side of the court after his opponent Tommy Paul had also been struggling with exhaustion earlier in the match in the humidity.
While serving at 5-6 in the second set, the top-ranked American suddenly abandoned his serve and made his way to the side of the court looking for somewhere to throw up while holding his hand to his mouth. The umpire then pointed to a bucket behind his bench as Fritz chundered before returning to the baseline to continue the game, saving match points to hold and force a tiebreak.
Fritz avoided a time violation despite chair official Raluca Alexandra Andrei giving Paul one earlier in the match when he took too long to serve while also struggling in the humidity, but not throwing up. “You have to apply the rule. I’m sorry to say, you can’t give Paul a warning and not Fritz,” commentator Barry Cowan remarked.
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The match went into a final set tiebreak, where Paul edged out a 6-3 6-7(2) 7-6(2) victory in three hours and 25 minutes – the longest match in Acapulco history. After the match, the world No 23 admitted that he got lucky that he wasn’t the only one struggling in the conditions.
“It’s never gonna be easy against Fritz,” he said. “He’s unreal. He doesn’t give you any points throughout the whole match. You feel like you have to work for everything… I think I got a little lucky we were both struggling.”
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Paul will now face Alex de Minaur after the Australian grinded out a tough win over Holger Rune – who was also struggling with the heat and humidity as he suffered whole body cramps in the third and final set. Looking ahead to his final against Paul, the Aussie said: “He’s playing some great tennis. Just look at his results here.
“It’s going to be a great match. I’m looking forward to a battle and to just go out there and leave it all out there. There’s not much else you can do. Enjoy the moment.”
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