A Journey Through Time: Taylor Fritz's Roger Federer Rematch Fantasy

Taylor Fritz pushed Roger Federer to the limits in Stuttgart 2016

by Jovica Ilic
A Journey Through Time: Taylor Fritz's Roger Federer Rematch Fantasy
© Stuttgart Open Facebook page

Asked about how he would use time travel, top-10 star Taylor Fritz had no doubts. The American wished to return to 2016 and face his idol Roger Federer in Stuttgart again. An 18-year-old pushed Federer to the limits on grass, with Roger prevailing 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 after two days following a rain delay.

It was Federer's 1071st ATP victory, matching Ivan Lendl and trailing only Jimmy Connors. Each set offered one break of serve, with quick and fast points dominated by serve and forehand. The young gun gave everything against the legendary rival, playing bold and aggressive tennis and creating his chances.

Federer fended off eight out of nine break points, reducing the damage behind the initial shot and mounting the pressure on the other side. Taylor played against four break points, allowing Roger to deliver two breaks and emerge at the top.

They were off to a great start, with the young gun showing his abilities on the fastest surface a year after reaching the Wimbledon junior semi-final.

Taylor Fritz would love to meet Roger Federer again.

They stayed neck and neck until the seventh game.

Federer stepped in on the return and grabbed a break that sent him 4-3 in front. The rain sent them off the court, and they continued the following day. Fritz denied two set points at 3-5, bringing the game home and prolonging the set.

The American created a break chance in the tenth game before the Swiss grabbed three straight points to secure the opener 6-4. Taylor defended his second serve nicely in the second set, serving well and pushing Roger to the limits with six break points on his tally.

The top seed denied two break points in the fourth game, and they served well in the following seve. Federer needed a good hold at 5-6, serving to stay in the set and introduce a tie break. Fritz pushed hard and created four set points, seizing the last after Federer's loose forehand to arrange a decider after an hour and five minutes.

Roger played against a break point in the second game, saving it with a booming ace and holding with a forehand down the line winner. The Swiss locked the result at 2-2 with another powerful serve before the young gun opened a 4-3 gap with a forehand winner in game seven.

Taylor opened a 40-15 lead in the ninth game with a forehand down the line winner and missed a chance to send the pressure to the other side. Roger created a break chance and seized it after Taylor's loose forehand, moving 5-4 up and serving for the victory.

Federer landed a backhand winner in the tenth game to emerge at the top and remain on the title course despite a stern test from an 18-year-old.

Taylor Fritz Roger Federer