London, July 3 (IANS) Brandon Nakashima and Taylor Fritz continued the historic run for American men at the Wimbledon 2022 after winning their respective singles matches, here on Saturday.
Nakashima registered a confident 6-4, 6-4, 6-1 win over Daniel Elahi Galan. The 20-year-old had not won a match at the grass-court major prior to his first-round victory against Nicola Kuhn, but he is now the youngest American man to reach the Round of 16 at Wimbledon since Andy Roddick in 2003.
He joins Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul, and Taylor Fritz in the fourth round. That represents the most American men in the last 16 at the All England Lawn Tennis Club since 1999, and the most to reach the fourth round at a major since the 2011 US Open.
“I think we’re sending a message that we have a lot of depth and there’s a lot of strong players that are coming up, constantly improving,” said No. 11 seed Fritz, when asked about the strong American showing after his third-round victory against Alex Molcan.
“I’ve said this before. I guess we don’t necessarily have all the attention because we don’t have a current Grand Slam champion, a current guy that’s 1, 2, 3 in the world, but we’ve got six or seven guys that are in the Top 40 that are all young. Four guys in the Round of 16, and we could have more. We have a lot of depth and we have a lot of guys that are constantly getting better,” he added.
The World No. 56 Nakashima, who reached the semifinals at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan last November, is into the fourth round of a major for the first time. He won 84 percent (43/51) of points behind his first delivery and faced just one break point in his maiden ATP head-to-head meeting with Galan.
He faces a tough fourth-round assignment if he wants to extend his run at SW19 further — he next meets fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas or Nick Kyrgios.
On the other hand, Fritz equalled his best Grand Slam result in style with a comfortable 6-4, 6-1, 7-6(3) triumph against Molcan. The 24-year-old’s only previous run to the second week of a major was at January’s Australian Open.
The American No. 1 Fritz built up some form on the grass last week at the Rothesay International in Eastbourne, where he lifted the title for the second time at the ATP 250 event without dropping serve.
His delivery was tuned in once again against Molcan, as he fired 20 aces and won 86 percent (50/58) of points behind his first serve to make it nine from nine sets won in his Wimbledon campaign.
Fritz next faces Jason Kubler, after the Australian came through a five-set tussle with Jack Sock to keep his dream run at the All England Lawn Tennis Club alive.
In a clash between two 29-year-old qualifiers, it was Kubler who found something extra at the tail end of a four-hour, 15-minute epic. The World No. 99 broke in the first and ninth games of the deciding set to round out a 6-2, 4-6, 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-3 victory.