THE MODERATOR: Taylor, what was the key for you in that final set tiebreak?
TAYLOR FRITZ: Kind of just accepting, knowing where my game was at on the day. Certain shots weren’t working for me. Certain things weren’t working for me, even though I wanted to do certain things. I think kind of just accepting that I had what I had in that moment, then just competing, kind of just battling, fighting through it is kind of what got me over the edge there.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What gives you more satisfaction, just blowing through somebody or a match like that?
TAYLOR FRITZ: Probably just blowing by somebody and playing good tennis. I think I’d be a lot happier now if it was 2-2, like my first round.
I don’t think I played bad by any means. He did a lot of things that were really tricky, kind of just made me not play great, put me in a lot of uncomfortable positions.
There’s a lot of things that I would like to do better, so…
Q. Opinions on these courts are all over the spectrum. Isner was saying it couldn’t be better for him. Other players don’t like it. Where do you stand on it?
TAYLOR FRITZ: I’d say this tournament probably has the biggest difference in speed from whether you’re playing during day or during night. I don’t think there’s any tournament anywhere else. There’s always going to be a difference, it’s always going to be slower at night. Because we’re in the desert, it’s so dry and moves so fast through the air during the day.
Then also, because it’s the desert, it gets so thick and cold at night. It’s like playing two different tournaments if you’re playing during the day and during the night.
At night, good luck hitting a winner. It’s one of the slowest conditions on tour. During the day, the ball can move a little bit. I mean, as we saw today, it was hot out there in my match. I was crushing the ball and really struggling to put the ball away. I think a lot of that is these balls get so chewed up. If you’re six, seven, eight games in, right before the ball change, I almost feel like it’s not even worth it to try to go for a winner because it’s not going to go anywhere.
Q. You were at Tommy’s match the other night. Today he lost to Alex. He’s your next opponent. What are your thoughts on that match?
TAYLOR FRITZ: It’s always really tough playing Demon. He’s really tough to play. He wins a lot of points that are pretty frustrating just by how many balls he gets back. I only got my first win on him ever the most recent time we played at US Open.
Going to be a lot less pressure going into this match than the other two because I know I’m going to have to play really well. I know that it’s going to be super tough.
What I did to beat him at the Open is still pretty fresh in my mind. I think I have a pretty good idea of what I need to do.
Q. Your girlfriend Morgan got a lot of attention for comments she made, what life is like on this tour, trying to make it cool again. What are your thoughts about that, working to attract a wider audience?
TAYLOR FRITZ: I think what she did was awesome for our sport. It got a ton of people looking at it. I think you get your typical older fan maybe like upset about it. I don’t understand how anyone can get upset about it. I’m the one that’s a professional tennis player, I’m the one that does this for a living. I 100% agree with everything in that video.
People know a couple, they know what the Grand Slams are, a couple little things about it, they’re like, What are you talking about? No, tennis isn’t talked about on ESPN unless it’s a very select few or under certain circumstances. You’re never going to hear SportsCenter talk about, Oh, so-and-so American won their match at, like, Monte-Carlo. It’s not popular like that.
It’s nice to see tennis kind of getting more attention. Yeah, I thought what she did was awesome. Regardless of the reaction people had from it, I think everyone in the tennis community can agree that it’s good for tennis to kind of almost sell it in a different kind of way, that she would know — she knew her audience would kind of react to.
Q. What was it like to look at the draw, if you do, and see Tommy going deep, Reilly going deep?
TAYLOR FRITZ: Yeah, it’s awesome. I mean, it’s awesome. It’s also, like, not very surprising. I know how good these guys are. It’s not weird to see these guys beating really good players, having solid results.
I mean, Tommy is really close to cracking into being seeded at slams and stuff. Reilly is consistently beating very, very good players.
Yeah, I mean, like I said, it’s really not surprising. I’ve been around these guys my whole life. I know how good they are.
Q. Is that a fun experience?
TAYLOR FRITZ: Yeah, sure. It’s cool that we can all do this together, for sure.
Q. Special run here last year. Are you feeling like you can go a step further this year?
TAYLOR FRITZ: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I am a better player than when I came here last year. Like I said, there’s things that I need to fine-tune. Didn’t play bad today, but there’s things I absolutely need to do a lot better. Hopefully being on the court for almost three hours today helps me. I think I’ll be feeling pretty good timing-wise hitting the ball, definitely hit enough balls.
Yeah, I mean, I need to take it one match at a time. We’ll see.
Q. How did you process the match against Tsitsipas in Australia, getting close to another breakthrough, and what you take from that experience?
TAYLOR FRITZ: Yeah, I think obviously chances were there. It was just one of those matches, like, literally was decided by a couple points here and there.
I felt like I just need to put myself in those situations a little more so I can play better in those moments. That’s a pretty familiar situation for him.
Yeah, it was literally just one of those matches where a couple points here and there were different and I might be the one who wins that match.
Like I said, I think the level is there. The level is there to hang with those guys. I feel like I can play at that level consistently. I just got to keep having that consistency, keep getting in those situations, and it will just get easier.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports