Fritz to end 11-year American tennis drought after Wimbledon backing

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Taylor Fritz will end a 12-year long drought for American men’s tennis next Monday as he will rise to a new career-high ranking. Last year’s Indian Wells champion will climb to No 7 in the world – the highest spot occupied by an American man since Mardy Fish in 2011. And it comes as another one of his compatriots tipped Fritz for Wimbledon success later this year.

Fritz has emerged as the leader of the pack in US men’s tennis, leading the current generation since defeating Rafael Nadal to win the biggest title of his career at Indian Wells 11 months ago. He continued his impressive year by winning Eastbourne, reaching the Wimbledon quarter-final and winning the Tokyo Open which allowed him to make his top 10 debut, becoming the first American man to crack the elite rankings group since 2017.

And the 25-year-old is continuing his climb in 2023 after reaching the quarter-finals of this week’s Dallas Open. No matter what Fritz does for the rest of the tournament is set to rise one spot in the rankings on Monday to a new career-high of No 7 in the world, also setting a recent record for American men’s tennis.

No male singles player from the United States has been ranked as high since Fish 12 years ago, and Fritz has also been tipped to go on and set even more recent firsts for men’s tennis on the other side of the pond after Patrick McEnroe named him as one of the big contenders at Wimbledon where he came within touching distance of the semi-final last year.

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The current world No 8 reached his maiden Grand Slam quarter-final at SW19 last summer, playing a physically hampered Nadal and narrowly losing in five sets before the Spaniard was forced to pull out before his next match. And Fritz has also proved his grass-court prowess by winning the Eastbourne International twice, prompting the younger McEnroe brother to name him as a Wimbledon threat.

 “Wimbledon, you gotta think Fritz, he was there last year,” the former doubles world No 3 said on his Holding Court podcast. And the man himself doesn’t want to stop after securing himself a new career-high ranking following his victory over Jack Sock in Dallas – the last American man to be ranked as high as Fritz at No 8 in the world.

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“I just need to keep working on the things I need to work on to get better, that got me to this point,” he said in his on-court interview after his 7-6(5) 6-4, win. “I always expect a lot of myself and put a lot of pressure on myself, but I just need to keep working and keep improving, and hopefully the results will come.”

Fritz will have another big task on his hands next month as he will return to Indian Wells as the defending champion and attempt to retain a title for the first time in his career. He could be one of the top five seeds in the Californian desert this time around with world No 1 Novak Djokovic unable to compete because of his unvaccinated status while current No 6 Rafael Nadal is still out injured.

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