Match Review: Ryan Harrison v Taylor Fritz

It was day 4 at the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships and one of the feature matches from the action was the second match on Center as seventh seed Ryan Harrison took on young gun Taylor Fritz in an all-American clash. The upset ended up taking place in this match with the lower-ranked Fritz coming back from a set down to get the 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 victory. Overall, neither man produced anything special apart from Fritz at times in the final set with this being a bad showing from Harrison. Even in the opening set, the seventh seed wasn’t great as he was terrible in rallies and the only part of his game that really worked was the serve. There were too many errors in that opening set from Fritz but then he just tightened all aspects of his game for the second before he started showing off his forehand in the third.

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Set 1

The first serve was prevalent at the start of the opener as both men were getting easy holds behind first serves with Taylor Fritz using it to set up a great one-two punch combination. From about 2-2, both men had cruised through their opening service games with their play not making an indent when returning so they both changed it up a bit with Fritz storming to the net off returns while Ryan Harrison added in some slice and drop shots. This may have been what got the break for Harrison as in Fritz’s next service game, the unseeded American started made some erratic errors of slices and Harrison managed to win out some long rallies to take the break and 4-2 lead with it. This gave Harrison a bit of a confidence boost as he started to whip the forehand in the next game but it did not last long as Fritz breezed through serving to stay in the set. There would have been some jitters from Harrison serving out the set because Fritz played a good serving game in the game before but the seventh seed got some aces to start and then took the 6-3 set off a smash.

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Set 2

Surprisingly, Ryan Harrison had a decent start to the second set as he was able to force Taylor Fritz to duece in the unseeded man’s first service game but after some depth was brought out by Fritz to hold, Harrison’s level dropped quickly. After spraying errors all over the place in his first service game, he hit a double fault to give the break to love and then Fritz carried through the momentum to hold to love and take a 3-0 lead. The double faults kept coming from Harrison as Fritz became confident and started to slide winners down the line and that made Harrison beyond frustrated which showed when Fritz was 4-0 up and the seventh seed struggled to get a return over halfway on the net. Harrison calmed down for his final service game as he got some good serves in but Fritz kept the rallies alive to break for 6-0.

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Set 3

Taylor Fritz came out firing to start the decider as he was playing some of his best tennis of the match to hold with big forehands and then specifically target the Ryan Harrison backhand from his forehand to secure the break and 2-0 lead. After another routine Fritz hold, Harrison was smart to change it up again and revert back to a lot of slicing and that worked to get his first hold of the set before getting some depth to draw errors from Fritz and break back. Harrison’s confidence had returned as he was hitting big serves again and finding the forehand angle as he levelled for 3-3 but then Fritz put in an important and convincing service hold for 4-3. The next game started very well for Harrison as he served an ace and got a good forehand winner to set up two game points but that is when Fritz played a great run of points where he refused to miss and he took the break out of nowhere. He didn’t miss out on his opportunity when serving for the match as he got most first serves in and the return errors came from Harrison for Fritz to get the 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 win.

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