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Wimbledon 2022: Taylor Fritz beats qualifier Kubler to reach maiden quarters

London, July 4 (IANS) American Taylor Fritz made it to his maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal with a classy fourth-round victory against Australian qualifier Jason Kubler at Wimbledon here on Monday.

The 11th seed produced an impressive display of clean hitting off both wings to end the World No. 99 Kubler’s spirited run at the grass-court major. Fritz crushed 40 winners and broke his opponent’s serve five times to complete a two-hour win, 6-3, 6-1, 6-4, on No. 1 Court.

It was Fritz’s eighth straight win on grass and carries him to a showdown with either two-time champion Rafael Nadal or Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp.

“I felt like I was serving well. It could have gone a lot differently if those first two games were a little different,” Fritz was quoted as saying by the official website.

“Second set I played really well and then third set I feel like he slowed it down a little bit and backed up a bit in the court, making it a little bit tougher for me to put the ball away.

“We started having some really long rallies and got really tight. Just really happy to get through in the end.”

The 29-year-old Kubler has endured an injury-ravaged time of it on Tour, including six knee surgeries before his breakout run in southwest London this Fortnight.

The world No.99 needed to win through Qualifying just to take his place and went on to reach a Grand Slam fourth round for the first time via a four-hour-plus triumph – the longest match of the men’s tournament – over Jack Sock.

His run to the Wimbledon quarterfinals continues a breakthrough year for the 24-year-old Fritz, who lifted his maiden ATP Masters 1000 crown at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in March. His win against Kubler improved his match record for 2022 to 29-10, and the American admitted it felt good to be rewarded for his efforts behind the scenes.

After recovering 0/40 to hold in the opening game of the match, Fritz broke immediately in the next game to take charge early in his first tour-level meeting with Kubler since the 2018 US Open.

A dominant display from the American was wrapped up when he overcame late stern resistance from Kubler to clinch a marathon 10th game of the third set by converting his fourth match point.

–IANS

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