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Fritz back in Indian Wells semi-finals with three-set win over Kecmanovic

The Indian Wells semi-final lineup is set after Taylor Fritz beat Miomir Kecmanovic on Friday. Fritz will face Andrey Rublev, while an all-Spanish affair between Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz headlines the top half of the draw.

Taylor Fritz returns a shot against Jaume Munar of Spain during the 2022 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. Taylor Fritz returns a shot against Jaume Munar of Spain during the 2022 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. Image Credit: Zuma / Panoramic

ATP Indian Wells Masters 1000 | Results | Schedule

Taylor Fritz’s favorite tournament on the ATP Tour is now without question his best.

Fritz, a California native playing not too far from home at this BNP Paribas Open, reached the semi-finals for a second straight year after beating Miomir Kecmanovic 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-1 on Friday afternoon. The 24-year-old needed one hour and 57 minutes to earn a shot at Andrey Rublev, who is on a 13-match winning streak.

Fritz rebounds from disastrous service game

After taking control by pulling out the first set in a tiebreaker, Fritz had two break-point chances in the opening game of set two, another at 1-1, and two more at 3-3. He could not capitalize, however, and the frustration led to a sudden and complete capitulation on serve at 3-4. Fritz, who had been pushed to deuce on his serve only once in the whole contest, got broken at love due in part to a trio of double-faults.

Although that allowed Kecmanovic to serve out the set (which the Serb did at love), Fritz was quick to turn momentum back in his favor. The 20th-ranked American reeled off the first five games to coast toward the finish line.

“I’m really happy with how it turned out,” Fritz assured. “He was playing tough from the baseline. I was maybe giving him too much. I felt I couldn’t really string together on his serve and he started serving better in the second set. I don’t know what I did on my serve (at 3-4). I really just don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to think about it ever again. I really don’t even know what happened. I hope no one saw that…. I just regrouped and found a way in the third set; I put more points together in the third.”

Fritz vs. Rublev in blockbuster semi-final lineup

Fritz rounds out the last four of the season’s first Masters 1000 tournament, joining Rublev, Rafael Nadal, and Carlos Alcaraz. The latter three players are a combined 49-3 this year and are on a combined 42-match winning streak (Nadal 19, Rublev 13, Alcaraz 10).

But Fritz cannot be discounted as a title contender. He is now 13-5 lifetime in Indian Wells with two semi-finals, a third-round effort as a 19-year-old in 2017, and a fourth-round performance in 2018.

He knows he will have to be at his best against Rublev if he wants to go at least one step further than he did last fall.

“I’m going to have to be a lot more solid from the baseline,” Fritz commented. “I think I just will be because I know that I have to be. In all the matches I’ve played so far I knew I could kind of get away with not ripping everything from the baseline. With him there’s no question about it. So I think just knowing that I’ll leaning into my shots more and playing more aggressive. But I gotta keep serving the way I’ve been serving.”

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