Taylor Fritz believes he could win the US Open Series if Nadal and Djokovic are not playing
Earlier this year, Taylor Fritz enjoyed the highest point of his career so far when he defeated Rafael Nadal in the Indian Wells Masters final. The 24-year-old lifted his first ATP Masters 1000 title and was the first American to win the tournament since Andre Agassi in 2001.
The World No. 13 has been dealing with foot issues the entire season and hasn't played any tournaments since Wimbledon. He returned to the court for the ATP 500 Citi Open Washington event this week, winning his opening match against Australia's Alexei Popyrin comfortably. Although Fritz struggled with his serve, he broke his opponent twice and saved two break points to win the match 6-4 6-3.
In a post-match press conference, the American was asked about his chances in the upcoming events of the North American tour, given that Novak Djokovic was likely out due to his vaccination status and Nadal was dealing with injuries.
Fritz stated that if he plays well in their absence, he could taste success in the US Open series. However, entering the top-10 of the rankings and the year-end finals is the ultimate aim for him.
"The things that I'm kind of focused on right now are the top 10," revealed Fritz. "That's just one good result away. I'm not really thinking too much about the US Open Series. I'm just trying to get some good results in any of these tournaments.
"You know, if Rafa, Novak are not in, and I'm playing well, then I'm definitely a contender to win the US Open Series. But I'm not really thinking about that as much as the year-end Finals and being top 10."
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Nadal and Fritz met in the Wimbledon quarterfinals last month and played an extraordinary five-set match. The Spaniard seemed highly uncomfortable second set onwards, but fought till the end to win 3-6 7-5 3-6 7-5 7-6(10-4). Clearly injured and hampered in his ability to serve, Nadal played with a torn abdominal muscle and pulled out of his semifinal against Nick Kyrgios.