TURIN, Italy (AP) — Taylor Fritz advanced to the final four at the ATP Finals by beating Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 6-2 on Thursday in the final tournament. year.
The American will face five-time champion Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.
The match went on serve until the final set when Fritz broke twice in the last three games, both sides holding to love, sealing his place in the next round on the first of two match points when fellow tournament debutant Auger -Aliassime sent a backhand. large.
Before the sixth game of the final set, the only other break points came in the second game of the second set when Fritz had to prevent three of them against his Canadian opponent.
Casper Ruud had already booked his place in the semifinals but lost 7-5, 7-5 to the already eliminated Rafael Nadal to drop the Norwegian 0-8 against the top three players.
Top seed Nadal had lost his first two matches at the tournament and avoided matching his career-worst five-game losing streak.
“I have been practicing well,” Nadal said. “There probably won’t be enough games to be at the level that I needed to be. Not enough confidence, probably, after a difficult six months. That’s how it is.
“I accept that the season did not end the way I wanted, at least I finished with a positive victory,” he continued. “It’s important, the last official game of the season, so I’m happy about that.”
Nadal won the Australian Open and French Open to bring his tally of Grand Slam titles to a record 22, but he has played just nine singles matches since withdrawing from Wimbledon a day before their semifinal match due to a torn abdominal muscle.
“I couldn’t ask for more: 2022 has had a difficult six months, two Grand Slams and finishing the year high in the rankings. So, I can’t complain at all,” said Nadal, 36. “At my age, being able to achieve and be competitive means a lot to me.”
For 2023, the Spaniard said he wants to “start the season with the right energy, the right attitude, to get to the level I need to be competitive from the start. We’re going to try it, I’m excited.”
Ruud will face the winner of Friday’s match between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev.
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