Wimbledon Quarter-Final Tip: Back 11/10 Fritz to make Grand Slam breakthrough

Taylor Fritz Wimbledon
Taylor Fritz can go one step further this time round

Tennis tipster Gavin Mair believes redemption is on the cards for America's Taylor Fritz, two years on from choking away a Wimbledon semi-final

Two years ago Taylor Fritz was on the verge of a huge achievement - beating Rafael Nadal to make a first Wimbledon (and Grand Slam) semi-final.

The American was in the form of his life having won the biggest title of his career at Indian Wells before arriving at SW19 in good shape having triumphed on the grass courts of Eastbourne.

However, Fritz blew it big time. On paper losing to Nadal anywhere at anytime is no disgrace. But this was different. Nadal was evidently struggling with an abdominal injury to the extent that he could barely hit a backhand and his family watching in the stands continually advised him to retire.

That could have been and should have been the moment for Fritz to break new ground.

There is hope that this time round will be different - or at least it should be - as the American is heavily favoured to defeat Italy's Lorenzo Musetti.

Taylor made for grass

Fritz is a very handy grass court player. The fundamentals of his game are a perfect fit to be successful on this surface. His serve is incredibly difficult to break down, and he is able to mask the deficiencies of his flawed backhand.

The American has three grass court titles on his resume and Wimbledon has proven his best Slam, with this being his second career quarter-final at this event.

His form this week has been impressive. There is an evident confidence running through his game in a series of fine performances capped off by a win from two sets down against French Open finalist Alexander Zverev.

In that match Fritz was impeccable on serve, not facing a break point in the final four sets and finding a way to turn the tide with a combination of power and variety to fully deserve the win.

He also holds a victory over Musetti at this event, steamrolling the Italian in straight sets back in 2022. Although to be fair at that point Musetti had yet to win against any opponent on grass.

Green clay

There are signs that Musetti should be able to keep things more competitive today than he did the last time they met at Wimbledon.

The Italian won their only meeting this season, bettering the American on the clay courts of Monte Carlo. Despite the favourable conditions it should give the Italian grounds for optimism.

Musetti has a free swing at this, this is his first Grand Slam quarter-final and he has never before played this well on the unique grass court conditions.

Before Wimbledon he was a surprise finalist at Queen's Club, losing to Fritz's compatriot Tommy Paul.

There is a general consensus that grass courts have dramatically slowed down over the years. Gone are the days when grass court tennis was determined by the guy with the biggest serve and that could race quickest to the net. Tennis fans on the more cynical end of the spectrum typically wisecrack that Wimbledon now resembles green clay.

Sure, serve is still important but players are afforded more time in rallies and that is a good fit for someone like Musetti. The Italian is an agile and creative player, that has a rare tool in his disposal of a highly versatile one-handed backhand. The angles, spins and dinks he can generate off that wing are not much fun to handle on courts where inconsistent bounces are the norm.

Fritz's success will revolve around his serving quality but Musetti looks to be in good returning form, neutralising the giant service delivery of Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard in the previous round. The Frenchman had been all but untouchable in previous rounds landing a staggering 1.71 Aces per service game, but Musetti disintegrated that total to a far more respectable 0.55 per game.

I do however, think Fritz should emerge the winner from this encounter. The match is on his racket - his serving performance will determine the outcome. However, he is a fragile commodity and I have the impression that it is likely he will make his route to victory a scenic one.

I am also respectful of the level that Musetti is showing and I expect him to hold up his end of the bargain. The natural selection for this match is therefore Fritz to win and both players to win a set 11/102.11.

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