Fritz ends dismal run with Shanghai win over Verdasco
Taylor Fritz ended his dismal run of first-round exits with a hard-fought victory over Fernando Verdasco on day one of the Shanghai Masters.
Fritz had not reached the second round of an ATP Tour tournament since he was runner-up in Los Cabos in August but beat Verdasco 7-6 (7-2) 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 on Sunday.
The American, who did manage to beat Dominic Thiem in the Laver Cup last month, saved eight break points and claimed the solitary break of the deciding set to progress.
Fritz faces a tough second-round assignment against seventh seed Karen Khachanov in the Chinese capital.
Nikoloz Basilashvili, the only seed in action, was also taken the distance as he sent Radu Albot packing 4-6 6-1 6-3.
Hubert Hurkacz defeated wildcard Zhang Zhizhen 7-6 (7-5) 6-4, while Joao Sousa was 2-6 6-4 7-6 (7-5) winner against Filip Krajinovic.