THE MODERATOR: Taylor, back into the quarterfinals here for the second straight year. Another third-set breaker. Talk about another close win today.
TAYLOR FRITZ: Yeah. I kind of wasn’t feeling great the first like kind of set and couple games. The second, 6 I felt like the timing was rough. Going from less than 24 hours playing a three-hour match against someone who is playing really far back, spinning the ball up, to then a quick turnaround playing someone standing on the baseline, hitting the ball really flat, skiddy. Low, I felt like it took me some time to kind of get my timing.
I was trying to, almost in the first set like decelerate my strokes to try and time the ball, and then I kind of realized I need to swing at it even more to handle it. So I made the right adjustments and I thought my level in the second and third was good.
Q. Talk about the tiebreakers. That’s just a place where you start to really gain some confidence if you can come through.
TAYLOR FRITZ: Yeah. I don’t know. Like, I feel like, we were talking about this after the match. Like, I’ll choke some matches here and there, for sure. A lot of people do. But then I’ll also clutch out a lot of matches like I have the last two days and this one felt really — honestly, the last two third-set breakers I played have been really solid for me, not a lot I did wrong either one.
So I feel like it’s just easy for me to kind of accept this is it. This is the last breaker. This decides the match and kind of just really focus in and have a clear mind of all the things that I need to do and all the things that I’m kind of expecting my opponent to do.
Q. Speaking of tiebreakers, you probably heard about how all the slams are going to the same 10-pointer. What are your thoughts on that?
TAYLOR FRITZ: I think it’s more exciting probably for the fans to be able to see that, like that match tiebreaker. But I will kind of miss that, like seeing people like 20-20 or like 14-14 in the fifth and like going and like watching that. That’s just like an absolute battle.
I think it does suck for those people because there’s, like you’re so done for your next match if you have one of those.
But it’s tradition and I will miss seeing those crazy battles. But it’s probably good for fans and good for the players if they want to move forward in the tournament. I think if I find myself in one of those in the future I’ll be pretty happy that they have that rule now.
Q. What’s your key for playing in those well? Different players have different philosophies for competing well in particularly a 10-pointer.
TAYLOR FRITZ: Sorry, what?
Q. How do you compete well in a 10-pointer? What’s your approach for those?
TAYLOR FRITZ: I think you play it like it’s, you just play it like it’s any other tiebreaker, but you just kind of know that you will have time to make back the points if you go down.
It’s about, I don’t know. Like, you’ve played a whole match, so it’s about knowing what’s kind of worked for you in the match and also understanding what’s worked for your opponent. So you’re going to want to take away the things that have worked for your opponent and try to dictate your game as much as possible, make them feel as uncomfortable as possible.
A lot of it is handling things. I don’t know. Like, doing your strategy, handling your things, but then also understanding what your opponent’s trying to do as well.
Q. Don’t take this wrong, but do you feel like that’s a match that you might have loss in the last, a year ago or two years ago? You’re winning those matches now more often and I’m curious, is there a change, either mentally or physically, that you have made in the last six months or so to really make this jump to get where you are right now?
TAYLOR FRITZ: No. I think just having more confidence in a lot of my shots, just playing better, believing that I’m a better tennis player. I think that gives me the confidence to play these situations better. It’s not any kind of a mental change. Like, I’ll still get, I’ll still get nervous. I’ll still, everyone chokes sometimes and, like I said, like sometimes I blow matches and sometimes I come up clutch in matches.
I think I’ve been coming out on these matches a little more often, just because I have more confidence in my game. I have more confidence in my shot. So when it comes crunch time, I feel like I can kind of trust what I want to do, trust my game.
Q. When do you get nervous? What makes you nervous?
TAYLOR FRITZ: I don’t know. It comes and goes. Probably just losing a match that I feel like I should win. I would say that’s the most pressure, high pressure moments in tennis is kind of like just losing a match that you should probably win or should win or you’re in a winning position.
But, like, I’ve gotten a lot better at just having, taking care of those situations. Like I said, the match with de Minaur would be one of those situations where I could see myself being really, really nervous because I don’t want to lose that match, but I came up really solid in the third-set breaker.
Q. As your ranking grows, it’s going to be like every match is one that you feel like you should win, though.
TAYLOR FRITZ: Yeah. But as my ranking goes, I’m also becoming a better player, so hopefully I find myself in less of those situations.
Q. Your surroundings the past two weeks, I mean, you’re hitting with Medvedev, Zverev, Ruud throughout the week. You got close team with you. How big is that surroundings for you in a tournament like this?
TAYLOR FRITZ: I think it’s great. I think with the addition of Mike to my team full-time, I think he does a great job of getting a lot of really good practice partners for me. I find myself practicing with the top guys that I want to compete with.
So I think that definitely helps as far as like pushing myself on the practice court, getting better. And, yeah, off the court I have a great team around me and it definitely makes a huge difference.
Q. On tiebreaks, is there a memorable tiebreak in your career that really made or broke you, that means a lot to you?
TAYLOR FRITZ: One that comes to my mind is I played a third set breaker against Verdasco here at night. And I had never, like it was to make my first Masters 1000 fourth round and it was like a, I don’t know, it was just felt like a huge win for me when I was like 19.
Q. If you’re willing I would just like to take a minute and go through the basic strokes in tennis in a lightning round and just off the top of your head. Toughest serve you’ve faced?
TAYLOR FRITZ: Reilly.
TAYLOR FRITZ: Berrettini.
TAYLOR FRITZ: Basilashvili.
TAYLOR FRITZ: Goffin.
Q. Speed or anticipation?
TAYLOR FRITZ: De Minaur.
Q. Mental toughness?
TAYLOR FRITZ: Rafa.
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