Fritz Beats Auger-Aliassime To Make SFs At ATP Finals, Nadal Gets A Win; Tsitsipas v Rublev Fri.
by Staff | November 17th, 2022, 11:02 pm
  • 12 Comments

Taylor Fritz didn’t even qualify for the ATP Finals, but now he’s in the last four.

Fritz got in only after Carlos Alcaraz withdrew, and he’s made the most of his fortunes in his debut.

Today, Fritz reached the semifinals with a stunning win over Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6(4), 6-7(5), 6-2 in what was a virtual semifinal with the winner moving on and the loser going home.

Powered by his booming serve, Fritz was too tough in the opener edging the favorite Canadian. Auger-Aliassime wasn’t able to break in the second set either, but managed to scratch out the breaker to stay alive.

In the third, Fritz would get a break in the sixth game and rolled to the semifinals.

“I needed to serve well the whole time, I knew that,” Fritz said. “It was frustrating throughout the match when so many points I was one away from break point. So many times at 15-30, 0-30 when I was returning, I got myself in the points and kept losing the points. I just tried to stay patient and not get frustrated and then I capitalized when I got the chances.”

Auger-Aliassime drops to 0-2 career against the American, with both losses this year.

“It was a very high-quality match for sure,” Auger-Aliassime said. “In the third set, bad choices, bad execution some parts. Maybe I lost the focus a little bit. The fact that I’m tired, sometimes you don’t feel like you’re tired, but it’s late, you’ve played a lot. I’ve played a long year.

Fritz will have a day off before returning Saturday to face the Red Group winner which will be either Novak Djokovic or the Stefanos Tsitsipas-Andrey Rublev winner.

Earlier, Rafael Nadal got a win topping Casper Ruud 7-5, 7-5 in a rematch of their French Open. The win snapped Nadal 4-match losing streak. Ruud had already won the Green Group so all the two were playing for was points (200) and prize money (over $380K).

“I have been practicing well,” Nadal said. “Just probably not enough matches to be at the level that I needed to be. Not enough confidence, probably, after six tough months. That’s how it is. I accept that the season didn’t end the way that I wanted, at least I finished with a positive victory.

“It’s important, the last official match of the season, so I am happy for that. At the end I am happy about that… I was able to win against a great player.”

On Friday, the round-robin wraps up with Djokovic trying to stay undefeated against rival Daniil Medvedev who has been eliminated.

The big match is a winner-take-all between Tsitsipas and Rublev.

Both Djokovic and the Tsitsipas-Rublev winner will have to return Saturday for the semifinals.


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12 Comments for Fritz Beats Auger-Aliassime To Make SFs At ATP Finals, Nadal Gets A Win; Tsitsipas v Rublev Fri.

Dave Says:

Djokovic made things a lot harder on himself than was necessary today. He needs to sit down with his team and talk about not being predictable with his patterns for shot direction. Medvedev did it better than I’ve ever seen by any player against Djokovic today. On a 50/50 shot where if he puts it in the right corner he hits a winner, he hit it in the direction that Medvedev chose every time except maybe once that I can remember the whole match. Also, this is where Djokovic needs to take a page out of Federers book. Federer would have absolutely dominated his head to head with Medvedev had they played more. I just checked and Federer was 3 and 0 against Medvedev. Federer was more creative and better at Finishing points than Djokovic is, and that’s what you need against Medvedev. It’s the same reason Kyrgios beats Medvedev. They don’t get dragged into 20 to 30 or more shot rallies over and over and over again the way Djokovic is forced to do against Medvedev. And you could see that Medvedev was getting more and more motivated to keep his energy up when he saw time after time that he was frustrating Djokovic and getting to him physically. The exact thing that I didn’t want to happen today happened. Djokovic plays a 3 hour plus physical match that had no effect on the standings and now there is no day in between to rest. What a nightmare. Hopefully he is ready physically in time for Fritz.


Wog Boy Says:

Medvedev lost all three matches in the third set TB and was serving for the match in two of them, it’s not like he didn’t show up, he could have as well finished the group with three wins with a little bit of luck.
You are ted too harsh to Nole, Dave. Besides, Nole obviously had physical problems after second set. The age is showing up, he struggled agains Tsitsipas in the third in Paris, he struggled agains Rune towards the end, match that he had more than enough opportunities to finish earlier.

It was worth watching the match just to see that last points that completely explains Nole tennis player and Nole human being.

I agree on the one that it’s big question if Nole can recover for the Fritz match, it is copy/paste of Paris final, less then 20 hours after hard fought battle with Tsitsipas he had to play Rune.


Wog Boy Says:

One more thing, Nole traditionally struggles agains counterpunchers, they don’t give him any pace so he is losing lot of energy to generate pace for his shots, remember the match against Giles at AO few years back?


Wog Boy Says:

Even if Nole somehow recovers and wins tomorrow he’ll have Tsitsipas waiting for him in the final and I don’t see him beating Tsitsi fourth time in the last two months and 10th time in a row.


Dave Says:

I don’t think I was being harsh or maybe I was. That’s the reality of what has been happening against Medvedev in my opinion. Honestly, it took until 4-5 in the third with his back against the wall to play how he should have played the whole match. Everyone on here knows I don’t rate Medvedev as high as most people do these days. Djokovic should never have to adapt his game to Medvedev. It should be the other way around. Djokovic has given the blue print to how he should play Medvedev. The Australian Open Finals against him is the blue print. Ever since that masterclass by Djokovic. Every match since then he has struggled against Medvedev, losing a set or more in every match. I definitely agree with you about his fighting spirit at the end. It was an amazing ending. I agree with you about Simon as well and him struggling against Simon. That match was 8 years ago. And I think Nole has added many things to his game since then. I still think he will figure out how to finish points better, especially as he ages. He’s always looking to change things. It’s very frustrating watching Murray not try to change things in his game to suit his age and his post hip surgery situation. It doesn’t make a lot of sense that he wouldn’t learn to be more aggressive and finish points more quickly. I hope Murray proves me wrong and learns to play differently to give himself one last chance to do something special. I don’t see Nole getting into these crazy grinding matches in the future against Medvedev like he did today. I think he will have masterclass matches against him soon. I agree with you about most of your points Wog Boy. I still feel Nole could have done better today. But if he was having physical issues than he probably would have won in 2 sets. I am just looking at the tactics of the match more than if there were other factors to why the match was so long.


Dave Says:

Wog Boy,

Tsitsipas looks like he’s about to lose. He played the perfect first set. Zero unforced errors. He’s totally lost it mentally now.


Dave Says:

Wog Boy,

If Djokovic beats Fritz tomorrow, I don’t see him losing to Ruud or Rublev. But I might be wrong. Tomorrow will be the big test.


skeezer Says:

They are both counterpunchers. WB has a rare correct point. Yes they can create their own pace, and can serve, but they are their best when other players are attempting to attack. Djoker doesn’t do well cause these types (like Simon mentiond ) who are counterpunchers like himself ultimately, and he loves pace pounding from the baseline. These types love getting pushed around. Then they can push back more. Simple. If you like watching that type of game…..

The guys they can lose to are the guys who can play through them, they are not around anymore for the most part, or unless their own game is off…..


Wog Boy Says:

Dave,
Rublev bageled Nole in Belgrade, he improved a lot, Nole just played perfect match few days ago.

I like Viking too, nice bloke.

Tsitsi suffers from PTS thanks to Nole😉


Dave Says:

Skeezer,

I agree with you for the most part. But I think there are players that can’t actually be anything but a counter puncher. I don’t feel that way about Djokovic. He can have matches where he plays attacking tennis and dictates a lot more than being a counter puncher. I know he will never get to the level of Federer who was the best at attacking tennis. But I do think he can continue to grow as more of an attacking player as well. I would say at this point Djokovic is more of a mix of both and not just a counter puncher. I’ve seen him progressively move to more attacking tennis and come to the net a lot more than before.


Dave Says:

And you’re right about the pace point. Federer never needed to depend on pace. In fact he struggled sometimes more with guys that Djokovic didn’t struggle with as much that would give Djokovic the pace to work with. I don’t agree with you about them not being around for the most part. Rune and Alcaraz are only going to get better and better. And they definitely have the game to hit through Djokovic.


chrisford1 Says:

Sometimes Novak is a little short in the brains dept. Ruud and Titsipas were fine losing meaningless matches to save energy. Not Djokovic.


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