Taylor Fritz laid on a 6-7(4), 7-6(7), 6-3 opening win at the ATP Vienna 500 event over Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka on Monday to stake his claim on a place in next month’s ATP Finals.
The American who stands provisional eighth in the race to Turin which start on November 13 is battling this week in the season point chase with Felix Auger Aliassime to claim the year-end spot.
Fritz flirted with disaster as he stood two points from defeat in the Austrian capital.
But the American battled back in the second-set tie-break and again from 1-3 in the deciding set before finally stamping his authority on the match, winning the last five games.
Fourth seed Fritz owns three titles this season, and could face Denis Shapovalov if Canadian defeats Austrian wild card Jurij Rodionov.