Taylor Fritz, Maxime Cressy keep the American flag flying high in Australian Open men’s draw
Fritz will meet fourth seed Tsitsipas while Cressy takes on second seed Medvedev in the fourth round
At the start of the Australian Open, there were 15 American men in the Australian Open singles draw. After the first six days, there are now two of them left standing – 24-year-olds Taylor Fritz and Maxime Cressy – and incidentally, both men are through to the fourth round at a Major for the first time in their careers.
Taylor Fritz was 0-7 in Grand Slam third rounds prior to this
Seeded 20th, Fritz had an 0-7 record in the third round at Grand Slams prior to Saturday. But he started well against Spain’s Roberta Bautista Agut and won the first set without dropping a game.
However, the American’s poor stretch in third rounds looked like it would extend as he found himself two sets to one down with Bautsita Agut taking the second and third sets 6-3, 6-3. With his back against the wall, Fritz dug deep to fight back and win the final two sets complete the 6-0, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 upset over the 15th seeded Bautista Agut in three hours and 14 minutes.
Fritz was by far the more attacking player on the day – he hit 73 winners to 35 by Bautista Agut, with both players unforced errors count going into the 40s (43 for Fritz and 47 for Bautista Agut).
Cressy’s impressive start to the 2022 season continues
A short while after Fritz had won his match, French-American Maxime Cressy, who has burst on to the ATP Tour with his serve-and-volley game in the first month of the season, was quick to follow and join his compatriot in the last 16.
The big-serving Cressy, who had reached the second round at all the previous three Grand Slams he had played previously, scored a 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 win over Aussie wild card Christopher O’Connell in two hours and 42 minutes.
Cressy won six matches in Melbourne, including qualifying, to start the season by reaching his first ATP level final and followed it up with a quarter-final in Sydney to jump to 70th in the world rankings.
The net-rushing American hit 28 aces on the day and won 50 out of 71 points at the net, saving all three break points against his serve and converted five out of 10 break point opportunities during the win.
If either of the two are to reach their first Grand Slam quarter-final this fortnight, they will have to cause a big upset. Cressy next meets second seed and tournament favourite Daniil Medvedev, a straight sets winner over Botic Van de Zandschulp, while Taylor Fritz will take on the No 4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who defeated Frenchman Benoit Paire in four sets.
Meanwhile, four American women – Amanda Anisimova, Jessica Pegula, Madison Keys and Danielle Collins – are also through to the fourth round in the women’s draw.