Taylor Fritz capped off his first day as a Top 5 player with a comeback, three-set win against countryman John Isner on Monday at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC. As the first American to earn a place in the Top 5 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings since Andy Roddick in 2009, the Break Point star is leading the pack of 10 men inside the Top 50.
While the 25-year-old appreciates the gravity of his achievement, both on a personal level and in the broader scope of American men’s tennis, Fritz is doing his best to keep his focus on the task hand this week in Acapulco.
“It’s obviously pretty exciting to be Top 5. I’ve known for about a week now that today was going to be the day that I’d be Top 5,” said Fritz, whose Delray Beach title put him in position to move up two spots from World No. 7, passing Rafael Nadal and Andrey Rublev after both dropped points last week. “Now I just need to focus on the tournament week and not so much about the ranking.”
He later added: “It’s a huge honour to be the first American in the Top 5 since [Roddick] was and I’m hoping that I can take it even further.”
New career high today 🥳 https://t.co/vfI9ydv9wA
— Taylor Fritz (@Taylor_Fritz97) February 27, 2023
In order to maintain his position, Fritz will likely need to defend his Indian Wells title next month when he returns to his native Southern California. Nearly one year after winning the biggest trophy of his career, Fritz feels that victory shows he is capable of contending for more of the game’s greatest prizes.
“I think if I’m able to win a Masters 1000, then I’m able to win a Grand Slam,” he said in an Acapulco press conference following his opening win. “Things just need to come together. I need to be playing really well one specific week. I feel like it’s possible for sure.”
For now, Fritz is focussed on winning his sixth ATP Tour title — and his second ATP 500 crown after last October in Tokyo — this week in Mexico. The American, who reached the 2020 Acapulco final (l. to Nadal), will continue his campaign against Denis Shapovalov on Wednesday, when he will try to close the gap on the Canadian’s 5-2 advantage in their ATP Head2Head.