Taylor Fritz vs Cristian Garin
Time: 7:00 PM IST
Taylor Fritz has consistently exhibited the characteristics of a top tennis player, as he manages to win even when he is not at his best. He demonstrated this ability once again in his first-round match at the Madrid Masters against an in-form Christopher O’Connell. Although he faced challenges in creating opportunities on the Australian’s serve and struggled to close out the first set, he managed to emerge victorious after a grueling 24-point tiebreaker.
Despite a relatively underwhelming performance this year compared to his dominant campaign at the United Cup, the top-ranked American has achieved positive results in all seven ATP events he has participated in. He has reached at least the quarterfinals in all three previous Masters events in Indian Wells, Miami, and Monte Carlo.
Moreover, Taylor Fritz is also showing promise on clay, which is his least preferred surface. He has recorded two consecutive semi final finishes in Monte Carlo and Munich, with a 6-2 record on clay this year. The last time he won six or more matches on clay in a season was in 2019 when he won 12 out of 20 matches on the surface.
Cristian Garin experienced a rough patch for eight months, failing to secure consecutive main-draw wins in tour-level events between Wimbledon 2022 and Indian Wells Masters 2023. However, he has achieved this feat in his last five outings, including the Madrid Masters, where he defeated Marc-Andrea Huesler and Miomir Kecmanovic to reach the third round.
The former Chilean #1 has regained some of his lost form and confidence during the Sunshine Double a couple of months ago and has carried the momentum to the clay swing. He has reached the quarterfinals in both of his outings so far in this clay swing, only losing to the eventual finalists – Tomas Martin Etcheverry in Houston and Holger Rune in Munich.
Prediction: Back Cristian Garin to win a set