Taylor Fritz on Friday beat No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) to reach the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open in front of a hometown crowd, scoring the biggest win of his young career.
Fritz rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the third set by winning four of five games — when Zverev held two match points — to force the tiebreaker.
He raced to a 6-1 lead and won it on his third match point when Zverev’s forehand landed beyond the baseline.
“I kept fighting,” Fritz said. “The crowd pushing me on meant so much.”
Victoria Azarenka defeated Jelena Ostapenko 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 to reach today’s women’s singles final, where she is to try to become the first woman to win the tournament three times.
The former world No. 1 won in 2012 and 2016.
Azarenka rallied from a set and a break down.
Ostapenko held three break points to try to send the match to a tiebreak in the third, but Azarenka’s serve stayed steady until the end and helped her close out the win.
“Can you be more brave than that?” Azarenka said about saving a break point leading 6-5. “I was thinking in my head, I’m going to use one drop shot. I chose the perfect timing.”
Paula Badosa defeated No. 12 Ons Jabeur 6-3, 6-3 in 81 minutes, the fourth top-20 player Badosa has defeated at the tournament.
The Spaniard reached her second career WTA Tour final.
Fritz was the clear favorite at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, where 83-year-old Hall of Famer Rod Laver looked on.
Fritz, the 23-year-old son of retired top-10 player Kathy May, grew up in the San Diego area and attended the tournament as a youngster.
Fritz had five previous wins over top-10 players in 2019, including No. 5 Dominic Thiem at the Laver Cup.
Now, he has bagged his biggest by beating Zverev, ranked fourth in the world.
“This is the farthest I’ve ever been in a big tournament,” said Fritz, who won his first ATP Tour title at Eastbourne in 2019. “It’s easily the best win of my life, against a really tough opponent on arguably the biggest match I could possibly play, so it’s great.”
Fritz’s semi-final opponent was 29th-seeded Nikoloz Basilashvili, who outlasted No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
The other semi features No. 21 Cameron Norrie against No. 23 Grigor Dimitrov, who earlier knocked out top-seeded Daniil Medvedev in three sets.
The men’s singles semi-finals were to be played after press time last night.
“This one hurts because I knew that after Stefanos lost, I was kind of the favorite to win this tournament, but my tennis wasn’t there yet,” Zverev said.
Taiwanese table tennis ace Lin Yun-ju on Wednesday handily downed Sweden’s Jon Persson 4-0 to advance to the round-of-32 at the World Table Tennis Championships Finals in Houston, Texas. World No. 6 Lin, who had a bye to automatically advance to the second round, defeated the 35-year-old Swede 11-5, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Lin was yesterday to play South Korea’s Lim Jong-hoon. Compatriot and fellow Olympic veteran Chuang Chih-yuan crashed out after losing to Sweden’s Truls Moregard. Moregard, who is more than half Chuang’s age at 19, downed the 40-year-old world No. 25 4-3 in a
FEARS TOO GREAT: Denmark’s Union of Journalists urged reporters not to travel to Qatar to cover the World Cup, saying the country cannot be trusted after the incident Security forces in Qatar detained two Norwegian Broadcasting Corp (NRK) journalists for more than 30 hours and deleted footage they gathered at a migrant labor camp as they tried to report on worker issues ahead of next year’s FIFA World Cup, authorities said on Wednesday. The Qatari government accused NRK journalists Halvor Ekeland and Lokman Ghorbani of “trespassing on private property and filming without a permit,” as the two returned on Wednesday to Norway following their arrest. The journalists contended they had verbal permission from those they filmed there. The arrests sparked a diplomatic dispute between Norway and Qatar. Norwegian news agency
Former champion Shaun Murphy on Wednesday said that amateurs should not be allowed to play in professional snooker tournaments after he lost in the first round of the UK championship to 19-year-old Si Jiahui. The 39-year-old Murphy, who was runner-up in the world championship this year, fought back from 5-1 down to level the match, but lost the deciding frame to the Chinese amateur. Murphy, who has won more than ￡4 million (US$5.33 million) in prize money in his career, vented his frustration after the defeat in York on Tuesday. “I’m going to sound like a grumpy old man, but that young man
PRESIDENTIAL VISIT: Tsai Ing-wen attended pre-game events, with her staff saying that she wanted to show her strong support for the nation’s most popular sport Two home runs gave the CTBC Brothers a 2-0 victory over the Uni-President Lions in an otherwise pitcher-dominated Taiwan Series opener in Taichung yesterday. CTBC took the lead in the best-of-seven Taiwan Series, with Taichung Intercontinental Stadium fully open and filled to capacity with 20,000 spectators because health authorities have kept the COVID-19 pandemic at bay. CTBC fans dominated the stands, turning them yellow as so many were wearing their team’s colors. The CPBL’s championship series is to continue with Game 2 today, also in Taichung. President Tsai Ing-wen made an unannounced visit prior to game’s start, participating in the opening ceremony and posing