ATP Eastbourne Men's Round Up: Taylor Fritz eyes historic third grass-court title against surprise finalist Max Purcell

Friday, 28 June 2024 at 21:29
Taylor Fritz (No. 13) defeated Aleksander Vukic (No. 81) in straight sets 7-6(5), 7-6 to advance to the final of the ATP 250 Eastbourne International. The 26-year-old reclaimed the American No. 1 spot after reaching the semifinals and now puts some distance between himself and Paul, who will drop to No. 13 starting Monday.
In the final, he will face the surprising Max Purcell, who has won six consecutive matches in Eastbourne, including the qualifiers. The Australian had fallen sharply in the rankings, dropping out of the top 100, but is beginning to rebound after reaching his first ATP level final.

Fritz's Dominant serve secures spot in Eastbourne final

In a tournament full of surprises, Fritz was the only seeded player not to lose in his debut and advanced through the tournament as the main draw favorite. This time he faced the Australian Vukic, whom he had already defeated in their only previous meeting at the 2023 Atlanta Open on hardcourt.
Fritz was impressive with his serve, winning 96% of points on his first serve and totaling 15 aces. The American saved the only break point he faced in the second set and sealed the victory in two tight tie-breaks.
Vukic won only 22% of return points throughout the match, but managed to stay alive thanks to his serve, taking both sets to a tie-break. However, in the decisive moments, Fritz displayed his superiority and secured the victory 7-6(5), 7-6(4). The American could become the first player to win the Eastbourne title three times.
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Taylor Fritz at 2024 Australian Open.

Purcell Reaches First ATP Final

The second semifinal match was between Purcell (No. 94) and local wildcard Billy Harris (No. 139). Until a couple of weeks ago, Harris had only two ATP level matches but has had notable appearances during the grass swing, with several wins over top-50 players at the Halle Open last week and this week in Eastbourne.
In a tight match decided in three sets, Purcell capitalized on Harris's weaknesses when playing on his second serve, making the biggest difference to secure the victory 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. The Australian had 21 winners compared to 37 from his opponent but only committed 9 unforced errors compared to Harris's 27.

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