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Fritz ousts Zverev in first round, Tsitsipas advances in Basel

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Fritz ousts Zverev in first round, Tsitsipas advances in Basel
Tennis - Laver Cup - Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland - September 22, 2019 Team World's Taylor Fritz in action during his singles match against Team Europe's Dominic Thiem REUTERS/Pierre Albouy   -   Copyright  PIERRE ALBOUY(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – American Taylor Fritz notched up his fourth top 10 win of the year when he upset German second seed Alexander Zverev 7-6(7) 6-4 in the first round of the Swiss Indoors championship in Basel on Tuesday.

Fritz fired 14 aces, won 85% of his first service points and needed to convert only one break point in the second set to dispatch the German in straight sets.

“I played really solid, so it feels good to get that (win) instead of him getting me for the third time in a row,” Fritz said. “I got out there today and the sliders were working well.”

Despite trailing 4-0 in the opening set tiebreak, Fritz managed to fight back and the two traded set points before the unseeded American unleashed a forehand and an ace to take the set.

Zverev failed to convert two break points and Fritz broke early in the second set at 1-1 before serving out the match, booking his place in the second round where he will face Australian wildcard Alex de Minaur.

Greek third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was made to toil hard, particularly in the second set, for his 6-3 7-6(6) victory over Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the first round.

Break points were in short supply but the Greek 21-year-old managed to break his opponent twice in the encounter while winning a commanding 89% of his first service points to advance.

Ramos-Vinolas saved two match points in the second set tiebreak but Tsitsipas played a patient game to force the Spaniard into making an error before wrapping up the tie.

“I knew it was going to be a difficult battle out there,” Tsitsipas said. “He fought hard and gave me a hard time. But I’m satisfied and happy that this match didn’t go longer or to three sets.”

American Reilly Opelka won two tiebreaks to prevail in an intriguing battle with Chile’s Cristian Garin where neither player dropped serve, with both winning more than 90% of their first service points.

Opelka, who won 51 of 52 first service points, fired 27 aces to eventually win 7-6(5) 7-6(10), setting up a clash with either Belgian sixth seed David Goffin or Croatia’s Marin Cilic.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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