Taylor Fritz has issued a stark warning to Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and the rest of men’s tennis after becoming the first man from the United States since Andy Roddick to break into the top five of the ATP rankings. The San Diego native needed three sets to overcome fellow American John Isner in the ATP 500 event in Acapulco, as a big season ahead beckons.
After the tournament in Mexico, Fritz will travel back to his home state of California to defend the biggest trophy of his career at Indian Wells.
He defeated an injured Rafael Nadal in the final there just under 12 months ago, which kickstarted the best season of the young American’s career to date.
Fritz will likely need to successfully retain that title if he is to keep his position inside the top five. But while the Californian is enjoying his ranking success, he has since spoken about keeping his focus firmly on the immediate task at hand in Mexico.
On becoming the first American member of the top five since Andy Roddick, the 25-year-old said: “It’s obviously pretty exciting to be top five.
“I’ve known for about a week now that today was going to be the day that I’d be top five. Now I just need to focus on the tournament week and not so much about the ranking.
“It’s a huge honour to be the first American in the top five since [Roddick] was and I’m hoping that I can take it even further.”
On the topic of taking it to the next level, Fritz made his intentions known to win a maiden Grand Slam, insisting that it’s “possible for sure”.
He added: “I think if I’m able to win a Masters 1000, then I’m able to win a Grand Slam. Things just need to come together. I need to be playing really well one specific week. I feel like it’s possible for sure.”
Fritz will play Denis Shapovalov in the next round in Acapulco, with the big-hitting Canadian leading their head-to-head by five wins to Fritz’s two.
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