From COVID-19 quarantine to an early flight from South Korea, Taylor Fritz overcomes all odds to make winning start at Japan Open

Taylor Fritz beat James Duckworth in his opening match in Tokyo.
Taylor Fritz beat James Duckworth in his opening match in Tokyo.

Taylor Fritz got back to winning ways at the 2022 Rakuten Japan Open after his bout with COVID-19 forced him to sit out the Korea Open.

The American No. 1 documented his journey from getting the coronavirus to his journey to winning against Australian James Duckworth in Tokyo in a recent social media post. Fritz revealed that he landed in Tokyo on the same day as his match.

"Covid quarantine for a week in a hotel room in South Korea, get out of lockdown this morning, wake up at 5am, fly to Tokyo, compete" Fritz tweeted.

"I'm feeling better than I thought I would be" - Taylor Fritz after winning his opening round match in Tokyo

Taylor Fritz celebrates Team World's 2022 Laver Cup victory.
Taylor Fritz celebrates Team World's 2022 Laver Cup victory.

Taylor Fritz was made to work hard by James Duckworth as the Australian pushed the third seed all the way in the opening round before the American came out on top in three sets, 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-1, to advance to the next round.

In his post-match press conference, the World No. 11 revealed that he was feeling much better than expected after recovering from his bout with COVID-19.

"[I'm feeling] better than I thought I would be. I don't feel amazing, but I'm really happy that I was able to go through all that and still show up and win my match," he said.

The 24-year-old mentioned that he was confident that he would be fine physically and would play well in his first match after Covid-19.

"I felt, for whatever reason, confident that I was going to be able to come out of lockdown and strike the ball well. I was more concerned about the cardio and my conditioning after being really sick and not having been able to do anything. Luckily the court was very fast, and so we were not playing long points, so physically I was OK," he stated.
"My mindset was never that he was beating me, or up. I let some chances slip in the second set that I shouldn't have. I played a really bad game on my serve. He definitely was playing better, playing some good points, but I just told myself in the third to just keep doing what I was doing," he added.

Taylor Fritz will hope that he has a deep run in Tokyo, which will help him better his chances of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

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