Rome Masters: ‘Claylor’ Fritz overcomes Dimitrov to move into quarter-finals

The American will face the winner of the match between German Alexander Zverev, the No 3 seed, and Portuguese Nuno Borges in the next round

Taylor Fritz, Rome 2024 Taylor Fritz, Rome 2024 Image Credit: Inside / Panoramic
Internazionali BNL d'Italia •Round of 16 • completed
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American Taylor Fritz, the No 11 seed, advanced to the last eight of the Rome Masters by beating Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, the No 8 seed, in athree-set battle that lasted for 2 hours and 43 minutes at the Foro Italico on Tuesday.

After winning the first set convincingly, Fritz saved two set points late in the second set as both players held serve to take the set into a tiebreak. The American saved seven more set points in a marathon tiebreak and even earned a matchpoint of his own. But Dimitrov held his nerve to win the tiebreak 13-11 on his 10th set point.

However, the Bulgarian ran out of steam in the final set as Fritz broke twice to win the third set 6-1 and complete the 6-2, 6-7 (11), 6-1 win on Centre Court.

Fritz, ranked No 13, will play the winner of the match between German Alexander Zverev, the No 3 seed, and Portuguese Nuno Borges next.

The 26-year-old, who reached the semis in Madrid earlier this month, is the first American to reach the quarter-finals at three different ATP Masters 1000 events on clay, since the format’s introduction in 1990, and even signed off the camera lens at the end of the match with ‘Claylor’ – acknowledging the strides he has made on the surface this season.

Earlier in the tournament, Fritz won against Italian wildcard Fabio Fognini (6-3, 6-4) and No 24 seed Sebastian Korda (6-3, 6-4).

Dimitrov, ranked No 10, won against Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka (7-5, 6-4) and French qualifier Terence Atmane (7-6 (3), 6-3) in the previous rounds of the Italian Open.

Rome Masters 1000, other round of 16 results (Foro Italico, clay, EUR 7,877,020):

  • Alejandro Tabilo (29) beat Karen Khachanov (16): 7-6 (5), 7-6 (10)
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Alex De Minaur
  • Tommy Paul vs. Daniil Medvedev
  • Hubert Hurkacz vs. Sebastian Baez
  • Nicolas Jarry vs. Alexandre Muller
  • Alexander Zverev vs. Nuno Borges
  • Zhizhen Zhang vs. Thiago Monteiro

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