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Q&A With Taylor Fritz: US Open Expectations, Serena Williams’ Impact On American Tennis

Taylor Fritz celebrates a win over Andrey Rublev in Cincinnati.

MASON, OHIO - AUGUST 18: Taylor Fritz of the United States celebrates against Andrey Rublev of Russia in the third round of the men's singles at the Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 18, 2022 in Mason, Ohio. (Photo by Frey/TPN/Getty Images)

Taylor Fritz is already having a career year, but the job isn’t done yet. The No. 1 ranked male tennis player in America is hoping to cap off the year with his first-ever Grand Slam title.

Earlier this year, Fritz defeated Rafael Nadal at the Indian Wells Masters to capture his first Masters 1000 title. They met again in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, but Nadal managed to win that five-set thriller.

Fritz has built some momentum heading into this year’s US Open, defeating Andy Murray, Nick Kyrgios, Frances Tiafoe and Andrey Rublev in the month of August.

We caught up with Taylor Fritz to discuss his preparation for the US Open, what it would mean to be the last man standing at Arthur Ashe Stadium and more.

The Spun: What's the biggest adjustment you have to make going from the grass season to hard-court season? 

Taylor Fritz: The biggest difference is the speed of the court. You got to get used to more balls coming back and the ball bouncing a little more. Just getting used to that.

The Spun: You had a tough battle with Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon. What was your biggest takeaway from that match?

TF: I was so close, but I think I used to take more away from those matches when I was younger. Having a close match with him would have been a positive a while ago. But now, I’m at the point where I want to win those. It sucks, but there are just a few things I need to improve.

The Spun: Did you leave Wimbledon with a positive mindset, or do you feel like it was a missed opportunity? 

TF: I think it’s both, because on one end, it sucks to lose that match. I could’ve been in the semifinals at Wimbledon. I also have to look at it like, I’ve never been in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam before. I have to look at the positives that come out of it as well. I’m moving in the right direction.

The Spun: It has been a while since an American has won a men's Grand Slam tournament. Do you almost feel an added amount of pressure because of that?

TF: I feel like I put so much pressure on myself that I don’t feel it coming from other places or people expecting certain results from me. I think I put way more pressure on myself.

The Spun: What is your confidence level heading into the US Open?

TF: I’m feeling pretty good. Things came together for me in Cincinnati. I thought I played really well, and even in the match I lost, I thought I played really well in the first set. This has the best I’ve ever played going into the US Open compared to years past.

The Spun: What would it mean to you to win the U.S. Open in front of a rocking crowd in New York?

TF: It would be crazy. That’s a lifetime dream of mine, winning the US Open. Winning my home slam would change my life.

The Spun: Serena Williams announced this will be her final run at the U.S. Open. In your opinion, what does she mean to the sport as a whole?

TF: It’s the end of an era. She has carried American tennis for such a long time and she has been a massive role model and inspiration to so many people. I can’t even imagine how much she’s actually done for the United States when it comes to tennis. There are so many people playing tennis because of her.

The Spun: You're staying at Equinox Hotel for the U.S. Open. How does that factor into your training? 

TF: It’s been amazing so far, being in a place where it’s centered around wellness and recovering right. I have so many amenities I can use to make myself feel better and be ready to go while I’m away from the court.

Taylor Fritz will face Brandon Holt in the first round of the US Open. 

You can read more of our interviews with athletes or media stars here.