The 23-year-old American relished the chance to compete in his home state of California and clinched the first-time ATP Head2Head meeting against the Italian 6-4, 7-6(2). In impressive night on serve, Fritz dropped just one point from 35 on his first serve, which included 10 aces.
He also won 59 per cent on second serves and never faced a break point in the one-hour, 44-minute encounter. Victory set a second-round meeting with fourth seed Denis Shapovalov.
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“I didn’t feel like I was in any danger of getting broken. I was serving well in the first set, it was just getting that break and second set… I played a really good tie-break,” Fritz said.
“I played tournaments every weekend growing up here so it’s awesome to be back home. After a couple of weeks off after the [US] Open, it feels really good to have a solid match, play well.”
The American secured the only break of the match to grab the first set. Both men were rock solid on serve throughout the second set, but in the ensuing tie-break there was no denying Fritz as he quickly surged to 5/0 before he advanced on his second match point to join compatriot Brandon Nakashima in the second round.
“I was hitting my spots really well,” Fritz said. “I have days where my service percentage is pretty good but I don’t necessarily hit my spots and my serve’s coming back, but I hit my spots really well today and backed it up really well when the serves came back.”