American tennis player Taylor Fritz keeps Indian Wells dreams alive

Taylor Fritz. Twitter/andy_abeyta

INDIAN WELLS: Taylor Fritz begins title defense Indian Wells Saturday with a hard-fought second-round victory over American Ben Shelton 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Earlier this year, Fritz won his fifth ATP Tour title in Delray Beach, a victory that moved him to fifth in the world rankings and vaulted him to the top spot. the first American tennis player Andy Roddick’s first top-five finish since September 2009.

But she fell short against 41st-ranked Shelton, who reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in January in her first trip outside the United States.

“He is a really good player and I expected him to serve well and play well – he has nothing to lose, so I expected him to perform at a very high level,” Fritz said.

“I had to regroup and find a way to solve the problem. I’m glad I won it.”

Fritz, from California, suffered a foot injury in last year’s Indian Wells final against Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal.

He reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal at Wimbledon last year.

Fritz, seeded fourth in a field led by world number two Carlos Alcaraz, will next face Australian qualifier Rinky Hijikata or Argentina’s Sebastian Baez, seeded 30th.

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