Five years after his first tour win in Indian Wells qualifying, Taylor Fritz returns on the verge of Top 20 but still searching for some consistency.

A return to Indian Wells celebrates five years since Taylor Fritz made his ATP debut. Taylor did play at the 2014 US Open but fell in the first round of qualifying.

The American who has always had that aura of having his feet on the ground won his first match against Dudi Sela (ranked 109) in qualifying at Indian Wells before losing to Thiemo de Bakker, Taylor was ranked at 941 in the world at the time and received a wildcard for qualifying at the age of 16!

To date he has 1 career title picked up at Eastbourne last summer on the grass ahead of Wimbledon and has a career win/loss record of 90/92.

For me, I like Taylor a lot. He just seems so chilled, down to earth and realistic but a bit more consistency is needed in his game despite currently being at a career high of 24 in the world.

The record of 90 wins and 92 losses could become a problem as to be that top 20 and potentially top 10 player there does need to be more rhythm from event to event.

Here is a break down of his win/loss throughout the last few seasons:

2020 (to date) – 7/6
2019 – 31/30
2018 – 23/20
2017 – 13/13

His ranking has become more consistent since May last year being a constant in the top 50 and on the rise to this career high now. Taylor has been in and around top 40 (9 months) consistently but has struggled against those ranked inside the top 30. 12 wins and 22 defeats since the beginning of 2018 isn’t ideal but has had 6 top 10 wins and played in five finals.

I think he does have the potential to be top 10 but that consistency is an issue. Even the surface win/loss in his career has been pretty much 50/50:

Clay – 14/13
Grass – 10/13
Hard – 66/66

His only title has come on grass which is technically his worst surface (percentage wise)

2020 has been a good year for Taylor, he didn’t have the smoothest ride in Australia. He beat Kevin Anderson from two sets down, gave Dominic Thiem a good test but in other events fell short to those you’d expect him to win against. 

Throughout the week in Acapulco he won against four top 45 ranked players in a row but fell short against Rafa as everyone did that week.

Good news for Taylor who is at his career high is that he doesn’t have any points to defend at Indian Wells or Miami and in a few weeks time won’t have to bother with Madrid and Rome qualifying this year. 

That period where he won Eastbourne that inconsistency became another big problem.

Eastbourne – Winner
Wimbledon – R2
Atlanta – Runner Up

Los Cabos – Runner Up
Montreal – R1
Cincinnati – R1
US Open – R1
Chengdu R1
Tokyo R1
Shanghai – R2
Stockholm – R2 (BYE in R1)
Basel – R2
Paris – R2

Between Eastbourne and Los Cabos he won 14 of his 17 matches and then went on a run of 5 consecutive defeats and won 3 and lost 9. 

These blips do happen following a good run but finding consistency isn’t always about playing as much tennis as possible. I didn’t even include Davis Cup Finals and Laver Cup on his schedule after Eastbourne. 

The talent is there but I think his calendar does need stream lining slightly, he played a massive 32 events last year and in the coming years will be to cut some out to contend higher up.

It is a big year for Fritz, he has past at Indian Wells. It is where he made his ATP debut in qualifying  and in 2018 made the fourth round following a big win over Andrey Rublev. There are events coming up over the next 3-4 months where he doesn’t have any points to defend and these big events are opportunities to pull off some big wins. 

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