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Fritz levels up Davis Cup tie for USA, edges Musetti to force decider

It’s all square in the Davis Cup quarter-final between Italy and USA

Taylor Fritz in Davis Cup action Taylor Fritz in Davis Cup action (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

It’ll be the first decisive doubles match of the week in Malaga between Italy and the USA, with Taylor Fritz kept the United States alive on Thursday by defeating Italian No 1 Lorenzo Musetti (7-6, 6-3).

The first set was very close. Dominated in the rallies and struggling on his serve, Musetti had to face three break points at 0-1, 3-4 and 5-6, but still forced the tiebreak and even managed to edge ahead, 5-3 with the mini-break, then a first set point at 6-5, followed by a second at 8-7.

But the world No 23 couldn’t convert, and Fritz took it 10-8.

But Musetti kept his head up, starting the second set with some fire and gaining triple break point before Fritz pulled himself together and served his way out of trouble.

Fritz got himself a double break in the second set, with Musetti putting in a third and final double fault of the day to add insult to injury – and requiring the doubles pairs to report for duty.

Fritz: I had my chances earlier in the match

Fritz admitted afterwards that in the tiebreak he had been in a less than ideal mindset.

“I was just thinking about how bad the balls are and how they get crazy worn out and I can’t hit a winner,” he said. “I was just thinking about how I just needed to like kind of like grind, because going for any aggressive shots kind of accomplished nothing. They were just so worn out.

“You know, I had my chances earlier in the match. I felt like when the balls were a bit newer I could attack, I could maybe do something with the ball. The tiebreaker, I just felt, and end of the first set, as well, end of the first-set tiebreaker, beginning of the second, I just felt like I just had to focus on my serve and get through it and get to the ball change. As soon as I got to the ball change in the second set I was able to break.”

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