World no. 10 Taylor Fritz withdrew from the Paris Masters ahead of the second round due to an abdominal injury that bothered him in the first match. The American made a winning start at the season's final Masters 1000 event, beating Sebastian Baez 6-1, 6-4 in 71 minutes.
However, Fritz will not compete against Daniel Altmaier in the next duel, feeling the pain and withdrawing from the event. Thus, Fritz has almost certainly blown his ATP Finals chances, with or without playing in Sofia next week.
After the US Open quarter-final, Taylor barely won points in Shanghai, Tokyo and Basel, missing a chance to secure the ATP Finals berth. Fritz made a good start in Paris, hoping to chase the rivals ahead of him and improve his Turin chances.
The American scored a convincing triumph over Baez before experiencing a significant blow. Fritz served well against Baez, defending the only break point and keeping the pressure on the other side.
Taylor Fritz withdrew from the Paris Masters.
Sebastian stood miles away from that pace, struggling behind the first serve and losing serve three times from as many break chances offered to Taylor.
The American fired 25 winners and 17 unforced errors, firing 17 service winners and outplaying his rival in the shortest and more advanced exchanges. World no. 10 held in the encounter's first game after deuce before Baez responded in the same style for 1-1.
Taylor landed an ace in the third game and broke at love in the next one after Sebastian's loose forehand. Doing everything right, Fritz painted a backhand down the line winner in the fifth game, moving 4-1 up and settling into a fine rhythm.
The American forced the Argentine's mistake in the sixth game, creating three break chances. Taylor seized the first to forge a 5-1 advantage, serving for the opener after 22 minutes! Fritz painted a backhand down the line winner after deuce to wrap up the first set in style, hoping for more in the second.
The American broke at love at the beginning of the second set, closing the second game with a smash winner and extending his streak. Baez created his first break chance in the fourth game, squandering it with a loose forehand.
The crucial moment occurred in the seventh game when Taylor felt the pain in his abdomen, requiring a medical timeout. The American produced a fine hold in the eighth game, moving 5-3 up and serving for the victory at 5-4.
Fritz sealed the deal with a booming serve, bringing the victory home in style but ruining his chances for a good result.
• Next Gen ATP Finals: Flavio Cobolli tops Dominic Stricker• Next Gen ATP Finals: Arthur Fils edges Luca Nardi• ATP Finals Flashback: Roger Federer delivers historica double bagel• Novak Djokovic earned sensational prize money at the ATP Finals• Angelo Binaghi confirms: "The ATP Finals will remain in Italy beyond 2025"• Novak Djokovic rewrites history: "It's incredible to win the ATP Finals at 36!"