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Fritz on the 2022 season hierarchy : “When Novak has played, he’s been the best player”

Taylor Fritz lost to Novak Djokovic in straight sets in the Nitto ATP Finals semis on Saturday. Afterward he had high praise for the Serb.

Taylor Fritz and Novak Djokovic, 2022 Taylor Fritz and Novak Djokovic, 2022 | © Panoramic

Novak Djokovic beat Taylor Fritz 7-6(5), 7-6(6) in the semi-finals of the Nitto ATP Finals on Saturday afternoon.

Even though Djokovic is the No 7 seed in Turin, he has been the title favorite since the start of the tournament. After all, not only has the Serb won the title five times but he would also be ranked and seeded much higher if he had received ranking points from winning Wimbledon and had been able to play the Australian Open or US Open.

Novak Djokovic Bercy R2 2022
Novak Djokovic, 2022 | © JB Autissier / Panoramic

Djokovic won’t finish the year No 1 (that distinction belongs to Carlos Alcaraz), but he will be in the top five unless Andrey Rublev captures the title in Turin. That’s not bad for someone who missed half of the four Grand Slams did didn’t even get points for the one in which he triumphed.

When you take [Djokovic] out of the equation, I think everybody else playing is extremely close

Taylor Fritz

Following Fritz’s loss on Saturday, he was asked about the 2022 season on the ATP Tour.

“It’s been a crazy year,” the ninth-ranked American reflected. “I think my takeaways are that when Novak has played, he’s been the best player. There’s no doubt about that. When he hasn’t played, which is a lot of the year, we’ve seen a lot of different results because when you take him out of the equation, I think everybody else playing is extremely close in level and it’s going to come down to who’s playing the best that week, what the court conditions are, (and) how it’s playing.

“I think when you take Novak out of the equation, I think there [are] 15 to 20 people that can all beat each other on any given day given the circumstances. That’s the reason for a lot of these different results — different people winning. It’s just how it happens.”

Fritz was making his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals — an expected development when the season began. Felix Auger-Alassime was also a first-time participant and Alcaraz would have been the same, but the Spaniard missed the event because of an oblique injury.

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