Taylor Fritz bounced back from a one-week COVID quarantine in Seoul to set up an all-American final in Tokyo, taking on compatriot Frances Tiafoe on Sunday
Fritz, a winning World group Laver Cup player last month in London along with Tiafoe, will bid for the title at the Japan Open following his Saturday fightback victory over Canada’s Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3, his third ATP final of the season.
Tiafoe, the 19th-ranked US Open semi-finalist, booked his spot at the Ariake Colosseum as he defeated Soonwoo Kwon 6-2, 0-6, 6-4, spoiling a record of straight-set wins this week.
“It was a weird match, but I’m happy to get through,” Tiafoe said upon reaching his second final of the season .
“It’s not always going to be pretty, it’s not always going to be the best stuff, but a win is what matters.”
No. 11 Fritz barely made it to Tokyo after his South Korean quarantine, but has made up for lost time with three wins and a quarter-final walkover when Nick Kyrgios withdrew with knee pain.
“It’s pretty amazing what I’ve been able to accomplish this week,” Fritz said.
“From thinking that I might not even be able to play this tournament to seven days in a hotel room, waking up at 5 a.m., take a flight here and just show up and play…
“It’s pretty crazy how quick things happen. It was only four days ago.”
Fritz came from 3-1 down in the final set and will make a Top 10 debut in Monday’ rankings after reaching the Asian final.
“Physically I’ve felt fine all week,” he said. “The biggest struggle for me this week has been the court speed.”
Fritz’ and Tiafoe will play the first final here between Americans since Pete Sampras defeated Richey Reneberg in 1996.
Main photo:- Taylor Fritz arrived just in time to play in Tokyo and is now in the final where he will play compatriot Frances Tiafoe