Just coming from the BB&T at Atlanta, Taylor Fritz, one of the golden guys of the NextGen, he remained in great form and made it to the final in Georgia. He won in straight sets two of the three matches but the duel between Cameron Norrie brought Fritz to victory in three sets.
He had landed into the Atlanta final against Australia's Alex de Minaur and didn't quite realize how challenging the match would be. There were close calls and deMinaur just had more perfected shots at the right time to give him points and games that Fritz couldn't come up against.
He had still enjoyed the BB&T and gave kudos to deMinaur saying "It's been really great playing here. Congrats to Alex. He played a really good final and he deserved it." But the point of not coming through stung and at times it was visible as he'd hit his head in frustration and disappointment.
Fritz travelled to his next tournament on the other side of the country it seems. Los Cabos in Mexico presented a stimulating draw for him. He brought his determination and spirit and three out of four matches he'd wiped out his opponents in straight sets.
Things were going good for Fritz and he was the defending champ in doubles there with partner Thanasi Kokkinakis last year. He had won his quarterfinal match against Italy's Fabio Fognini 6-1, 7-6 in a tough tiebreak. Fritz wouldn't believe it to get tighter than when he got into the final with Argentina's Diego Schwartzman.
Taylor Fritz had confidence and the moves to go up 4 to 1 in the opening set against the Argentine, feeling he could win. Schwartzman was deceptive and worked the points down the line and pushed Fritz back to open up the court.
It was before long the games were 5-all and the NextGen was feeling anxious about losing again and missing his opportunities as he had at Atlanta. He managed to break Schwartzman at 6-5. This small margin wasn't enough to go up against the Argentine's precision of hitting the corners for victory points and using huge forehands made the difference and he pushed the set to a tiebreak with him being the winner.
The second set was scary for Fritz as Schwartzman jumped to a 4-1 lead with snapping cross courts coming out much of the time as point winners for the Argentinian. Fritz pushed further and got close enough to 2 more points but Schwartzman had the answer to the rallies and before long it was match point as a misdirected shot in the alley by Fritz gave Schwartzman the match, tournament and title.
Schwartzman was encouraged by his accomplishment on earning his third career title and first on hard courts. Fritz might have felt like a two-time loser being that his chances were blown in Atlanta with deMinaur and again with Schwartzman.
But the Argentine felt as though he was gaining ground saying to the ATP tour media that "It was really important for me to come here and win big matches against the big guys." Taylor Fritz at this point didn't feel so much like a 'big guy' and hopes that three times will be the charm as he makes his way to the Rogers Cup in Montreal, to go deep and possibly to be victorious again.