The third episode of Netflix’s Break Point takes fans behind the scenes of Taylor Fritz’s epic BNP Paribas Open title run, during which he overcomes a freak match-day injury to stun Rafael Nadal in the final. But that was not the only dramatic moment of the American’s season.
Later in the year Fritz also captured an ATP 500 title in Tokyo, where he again had to shake off significant adversity to take the title after spending the previous week in Covid-19 quarantine.
The Californian and his girlfriend, Morgan Riddle, both tested positive in Seoul, South Korea, where they quarantined in their hotel room.
“He was in quarantine for a week, I was in quarantine for nine days. I had to stay there longer, which was terrible,” Riddle told ATPTour.com. “Then flew straight from there to Tokyo and he won the title after literally not training or doing anything. We basically turned into the grandparents from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. We didn’t get out of bed for 10 days and then he gets up and goes and wins a title.
“That was pretty crazy and obviously if he wouldn’t have gone and won that title he would have had a very different end of the year, so that was huge.”
According to Riddle, to call the week unpleasant would be an understatement: “It was miserable,” she said. “It was literally the worst week of my life. It was so bad.”
The pair did not watch any tennis. At the end of the day, they would check the Seoul scores out of curiosity. For the most part, they caught up on television series House of the Dragon, a prequel to Game of Thrones.
For most, quarantining for a week and immediately jumping into tournament play would be difficult. But Riddle was not surprised by her partner’s success.
“That’s the most Taylor thing to ever happen. I literally told him while we were in Seoul, ‘You’re probably going to win Tokyo.’ Because that’s just something he would do. It’s when he has the least amount of pressure on him and he is the biggest underdog is when he excels,” Riddle said. “I think it’s because he went into Tokyo and was like, ‘I literally have nothing to lose this week. I just came out of a quarantine and I haven’t trained for a week.’ I think that lack of pressure actually made him more confident.”
Fritz needed to win three three-setters to reach the final in Tokyo, but navigated through the field to earn a clash against his friend and countryman Frances Tiafoe for the trophy. He took full advantage, defeating Tiafoe in two tie-breaks to add another trophy to his cabinet.
Not bad after a week of staying in bed watching television.