American No. 1 in singles Taylor Fritz also became involved in the Davis Cup controversy involving Team USA, the root cause of which was ATP doubles no. 3 Rajeev Ram's exclusion from the squad for this week's Davis Cup Finals in Malaga. Fritz got into a war of words with Canadian tennis player Brayden Schnur, who accused the players in the US team of being 'egoistic.'
The four-man team involving Fritz, Tommy Paul, Frances Tiafoe, and Jack Sock lost their 2022 Davis Cup quarterfinal clash with Italy 2-1 on Thursday. The doubles match, in which Paul and Sock represented the US team and lost, turned out to be the deciding tie. Soon after the tie, Ram, who was dropped despite being the highest-ranked American doubles player, took a cryptic dig at team captain Mardy Fish on social media, which led to a major controversy with many fans and other players chiming in as well on the matter.
Reacting to the same, Schnur sympathized with Ram over missing out on Davis Cup duty, but also took a shot at the other players for "their egos."
"Look at the players on the team. Take a look at their egos. We’re all smart enough to put the pieces together. I feel for Rajeev, great player even better man," Schnur wrote on social media.
Fritz hit back at the same, asking Schnur to explain how the team members' egos played a role in team selection.
"Please elaborate on my “ego” Brayden, would love to hear about how that played a part in how the team was chosen," Taylor Fritz responded.
Initially, Schnur did not directly address the "ego" dig, but in turn, asked Fritz if he and the rest of the team would invite Ram to celebrate with them had they won.
Fritz then called out Schnur again for accusing him without an explanation, before suggesting that Ram would have been welcome to join the celebrations had he wanted to celebrate with them.
"My guy don’t call us out for our “egos” like u know how the team was picked if ur gonna personally insult us and proceed to skate around it with no further explanation. Btw if Raj wanted to celebrate our team qualifying/winning at any point we would all be PUMPED to have him," Taylor Fritz wrote in another tweet.
Schnur then responded by suggesting that Fritz had never even spoken to him properly before the social media debate. The American admitted that he was shy as a person, before stating that Schnur's accusations were out of line and uncalled for.
"I mean... one thing I gotta say is I’m shy in person and have pretty bad social anxiety... so I don’t really think that’s fair for you to assume anything about my ego and if ur gonna take shots at me and my teams character I feel like I do actually deserve some explanation," Taylor Fritz expressed.
Meanwhile, Tommy Paul took a dig at Rajeev Ram over the non-selection controversy, opining that Ram struggles against all kinds of singles players and was not picked for a good reason despite being the top-ranked American men's doubles player.
Taylor Fritz carries ATP Finals momentum into Davis Cup tie
Taylor Fritz capped off an intense tour-level season and his best one on tour so far with a run to the semifinals of last week's ATP Finals but still made it to the Davis Cup Finals to represent the USA this week.
The American beat Rafael Nadal and Felix Auger-Aliassime in the round-robin stage of the ATP Finals before bowing out of the tournament with a loss to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the final-four stage. He then played a solitary match in the USA's Davis Cup quarterfinal against Italy and beat Lorenzo Musetti 7-6(8), 6-3.
Fritz won three titles this season, including the Indian Wells Masters in March. He also broke into the ATP top 10 for the first time in his career and ended the season at No. 9 in the rankings.