UTS Los Angeles: Fritz comes back from 2-0, defeats The Great Wall in sudden death

Taylor “The Hotshot” Fritz has mounted an impressive comeback in his first match at UTS Los Angeles, defeating Wu “The Great Wall” Yibing 3-2

Taylor Fritz, UTS Los Angeles 2023 Taylor Fritz, at UTS 2023 in Los Angeles (Thierry Breton / Tennis Majors)

Having waited until the fifth match to step onto court, local favourite Taylor Fritz finally appeared at UTS Los Angeles under the lights against Yibing Wu to the delight of the home crowd.

However, it was Wu who used his card well to claim first quarter 18-14, despite completely fluffing a jumping tweener on quarter point. More trick shots ensued from The Great Wall in the second quarter as well, with the Chinese native clearly determined to prove the commentators wrong and show that he’s not shy.

The second quarter was a tighter affair, with both players failing to capitalise on their bonus cards and quarter point coming at 13-10 to Wu. To the disappointment of the Los Angeles crowd, Wu claimed the quarter 14-12 as well, taking a strong 2-0 lead.

Between quarters, Wu paid homage to who he called “the true Great Wall,” Chinese basketball player Yao Ming.

Yibing Wu (UTS)

Fritz, meanwhile, was all business, simply stating that he needs to “hit better shots and make less errors.”

The Hotshot launches mid-match comeback

Just when it looked like The Great Wall was going to dispatch Fritz in straight quarters, The Hotshot played his bonus card exquisitely, racing out to a strong lead in the third quarter.

Heading into quarter point at 16-9, The Hotshot required no fancy shots to seal the quarter, as Wu faulted to gift Fritz the third quarter at 17-9.

“I made a lot less mistakes, much more solid, giving away less free points,” was Fritz’s explanation of how he managed to turn the match around by keep the match alive at 2-1.

Wu, on the other hand, gave his mid-match analysis of the contest: “He got his three point, and I didn’t get my three point. It’s simple. But, I think the reason I lost this quarter is because you asked me basketball questions.”

Between quarters, meanwhile, The Rebel was spied enjoying that vodka Red Bull he had been craving in his loss to El Peque earlier.

From 2-0 to 2-2, Fritz forces sudden death

The Hotshot found his groove in the fourth quarter, blasting his way to an early 6-1 lead.

It wasn’t only Taylor Fritz who gained some confidence; the crowd, with vocal cords possibly slightly lubricated with the evening wearing on, began to make the most of UTS’s relaxed rules around audience engagement. From screams mid-point, to all sorts of different yodels and chants, Los Angeles was well and truly enjoying itself.

The Great Wall was unphased, however, dancing his way to a 9-6 lead winning eight points straight. With stunning passing shots, it was Wu who looked like The Hotshot.

Against all odds, Fritz still found a way to force sudden death, winning the quarter 13-11.

Capping off his comeback, The Hotshot delivered and gave Wu a sudden death, winning in straight points.

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