In a stunning display of dominance, Taylor Fritz, the ninth seed, secured his spot in the fourth round of the U.S. Open with an impressive three-set victory over unseeded Jacob Menzik. The match, which took place on Friday night in Louis Armstrong Stadium, saw Fritz win in commanding fashion, with a final score of 6-1, 6-2, 6-0. This victory marks Fritz's third consecutive straight-sets win in the tournament.
Reflecting on his performance, Fritz expressed his satisfaction with his game plan and execution. He stated, "Yeah, I felt good. I had a clear plan of what I wanted to do, how I wanted to play him, and [I] returned well. I was doing really well and I played a solid match."
Fritz's success at the U.S. Open is a redemption from his disappointing early exits in previous Grand Slam tournaments this year. He was eliminated in the second round of both the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and fell in the third round at the French Open. With his strong performance at the U.S. Open, Fritz is determined to make up for those previous setbacks and contribute to the American men's quest to win the tournament for the first time since Andy Roddick's victory in 2003.
Fritz is not alone in his impressive run at the U.S. Open. Fellow Americans Tommy Paul and Frances Tiafoe, seeded 14th and 10th respectively, have also advanced to the fourth round. What makes their progress even more significant is that they are the highest seeds remaining in their sections of the tournament, due to the upset losses of No. 4 Holger Runne, No. 5 Casper Ruud, and No. 7 Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Speaking about the success of his fellow American players, Fritz remarked, "It feels really good. I expected Francis and Tommy to move forward and even yesterday before everyone played today I looked at the draw, I mean it's crazy. This side of the draw is crazy. And I looked at it for the first time, the whole thing, and I was like 'Wow.' Like one of these guys is for sure making it to the semifinals."
Despite the pressure and expectations, Fritz maintains a lighthearted attitude and is excited to see how far the American players can go in the tournament. He added with a laugh, "So, not to put pressure on them... That's just what I thought personally. I wonder who it's going to be, but one of them is going to be in the semis I say. We're all talking and seeing each other in rooms and stuff, it's cool. We're going to hopefully keep it going."
In the upcoming round of 16, Fritz will face off against unseeded Dominic Stricker of Switzerland on Sunday. Stricker made headlines with a stunning upset victory over Tsitsipas in five sets, proving that he is a force to be reckoned with. Despite the challenge, Fritz is determined to continue his winning streak and advance further in the tournament.
Meanwhile, Tommy Paul, another rising star in American tennis, also had a breakthrough moment at the U.S. Open. Prior to this tournament, Paul had never played at Arthur Ashe Stadium and had never reached the fourth round. He achieved both milestones on Friday with a hard-fought 6-1, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
Paul's victory not only contributed to the strong showing of the U.S. men at the U.S. Open but also continued his own impressive run. Just two days earlier, Paul had found himself trailing two sets against Roman Safiullin, yet he managed to mount a remarkable comeback and secure the win. Embracing his success, Paul expressed his excitement, stating, "This is the best tournament for Americans to play in... Every time I pass one of the TVs here, it's like 'Is an American going to win a Slam for the first time [in] 20 years?'... I'm really looking forward to the next match, and hopefully, we can keep it going."
Paul's recent performances have earned him praise from both his fellow players and tennis enthusiasts. He has been lauded for his complete skill set and impressive volley game, which he has elevated to maximize his athleticism. Even Carlos Alcaraz, the World No. 1 and defending U.S. Open champion, has acknowledged Paul's talent, describing him as "certainly a complete player" and "one of the best players in the world right now."
In the next round, Paul is set to face fellow American Ben Shelton. The matchup is highly anticipated, as both players are performing at their best and generating excitement among fans. Paul recognizes the healthy competition amongst the American players, stating, "Absolutely, there is very healthy competition amongst all of us... We push each other with results or in practice... When one of us does super-well in a tournament, it's inspiring to us to go do it ourselves."
Adding to the excitement of his journey at the U.S. Open, Paul has a young fan named Eddy who has been cheering him on from the sidelines. Eddy, a 10-year-old from Brooklyn, has become Paul's good-luck charm, providing support and even offering tips during matches. Paul has embraced Eddy's presence and considers him a source of motivation. He shared, "It's really cool to have him here. I'm hoping he becomes famous or something."
As Paul and Fritz continue their impressive performances at the U.S. Open, American men's tennis is experiencing a resurgence. With Taylor Fritz ranked ninth, Francis Tiafoe ranked tenth, and Paul on the verge of breaking into the top 10, the future looks promising for American tennis.