"I think it helps that there aren't these roadblocks in the way" - Taylor Fritz happy to avoid the Big Four in draws

Taylor Fritz, who reached the quarterfinals of this week's Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, has a lot more confidence at big events these days—particularly when he looks at who isn't in the field.

The 24-year-old won his first Masters title this season at Indian Wells, defeating Rafael Nadal when the No. 4 suffered a rib injury going into the final.

"I have grown a lot as a player. I'm actually a much better player than I was before," said Fritz, who also won Eastbourne and recently reached a career-high No.12 in the rankings.

But he acknowledges that it's a lot easier to go deep with the previously dominant Roger Federer, Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray now playing less on tour. Fritz also reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon, falling to Nadal in five sets before the 22-time major winner withdrew with injury in the next round.

"I think it also helps that there are not these roadblocks in the way, like when I was, you know, 18, 19, 20, when you win two matches at a Masters and you are unseeded and you are pretty much guaranteed to play Roger, Rafa, Andy, Novak," said Fritz.

Still, he also notes it's important not to have his guard down against other players either.

"Yeah, I mean, the thing is maybe they are not more open. They just seem more open to me because those guys at their peak were so, so good," said the American.

"There are still so many amazing players, so maybe it's just because I kind of grew up with them and I have known some of these guys for a long time like [Andrey] Rublev, like [Alexander] Zverev, like Medvedev, maybe they just seem more beatable to me than the guys that I idolized growing up."

Fritz defeated Nick Kyrgios in the second round and Rublev in the third round, before falling to World No.1 Daniil Medvedev in the quarterfinal.

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