The California native, who was 2-6 in his past eight matches heading into Indian Wells, gained his first win against a Top-10 opponent in 2021 and the seventh of his career in the 81-minute encounter.
“We’re coming to the end of the year, I could really use a big result,” said Fritz in his on-court interview. “This is just what I needed, playing one of my favourite tournaments close to home.”
Fritz held a 5-1 lead in the first set, surviving a Berrettini comeback by breaking to love in the final game. A break in the fourth game of the second set proved enough to take the match in straight sets against a frustrated and off-form Berrettini.
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“I had a really clear strategy on top of just doing what I do,” said Fritz. “Big first serves, attacking the first ball, trying to be aggressive and play to my strengths to try and make him uncomfortable as much as I could.”
The World No. 5 saved four match points to extend the second set, but Fritz maintained his composure to hold serve in the following game. Fritz broke the Italian’s serve five times, winning 48 per cent (27/56) of return points.
Fritz denied Berrettini the chance to continue his Nitto ATP Finals qualification campaign this week, with the Italian sixth in the FedEX ATP Race to Turin. The 31st seed now leads their ATP Head2Head 2-0.
Khachanov’s serve overwhelmed the Spaniard, with the 24th-seeded Russian only losing one point behind his first serve (22/23) and not facing a break point. This was their seventh tour-level meeting and sixth at an ATP Masters 1000 event, with Khachanov now leading 4-3 in their ATP Head2Head.
Khachanov, who holds a career-high FedEx ATP Ranking of No. 8, is a past ATP Masters 1000 champion, winning in Paris in 2018.