"That's not normal that Rafa is acing me three times a game" - Taylor Fritz on how important serving is on indoor hardcourts

Taylor Fritz (L) and Rafael Nadal (R)
Taylor Fritz (L) and Rafael Nadal

Taylor Fritz advanced to the semifinals in Turin on Thursday, defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6(4), 6-7(5), 6-2.

When asked if the serve was perhaps more important than usual on Turin's quick surface, Fritz stated that it helped people who didn't usually get free points on serve. He emphasized his point by recalling a practice session he had with Rafael Nadal ahead of the season-ending tournament.

“I think it helps a lot the people that maybe don't get as many free points on their serve. I played Rafa, but I practiced with Rafa the first day I was here. We played a practice set and I think I won three points returning his serve in the set. That's not normal that Rafa is acing me three times a game,” Fritz said during his post-match press conference.

The American went on to stress the importance of serving well to avoid quick turnarounds, something he didn't do in his loss against Casper Ruud earlier.

“I think it is very important in terms of, like, if you play a bad game, you get broken, you're probably going to lose the set. That's just how it is. You can't afford to have throwaway games on the serve," he continued. "I think that was probably my biggest issue against Casper a couple of days ago. The first game I served. I kind of just gave it to him. You can't do that.”
“Holding serve by far is the most important thing on this court, holding serve and returning. But you don't necessarily have to be serving amazing. If you just hit your spots, take care of the serve, it's going to look like everyone is serving incredible,” he added.

Taylor Fritz will play Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of the ATP Finals

Taylor Fritz in action at the Nitto ATP Finals 2022
Taylor Fritz in action at the Nitto ATP Finals 2022

On Saturday, Taylor Fritz will square off against Novak Djokovic for a spot in the final at the season-ending championship. Speaking at the post-match presser after defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime, Fritz said he was "super excited" to be playing against Djokovic.

“It's a great opportunity. I look forward to playing Novak. Obviously he's one of the best if not the best. He's done pretty well here in the past. I'm super excited for the opportunity,” he said.

Fritz is making his ATP Finals debut, while Djokovic is chasing a record-equalling sixth title.

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Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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