World No. 28, and number five seed, Taylor Fritz of the USA, will take on compatriot Tommy Paul, the world number 54, in the second round of the 2021 St. Petersburg Open on Wednesday, October 27. Get the live streaming options of this Taylor Fritz v Tommy Paul match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Taylor Fritz v Tommy Paul Head to Head
The pair had a great rivalry in their junior careers, meeting in two Grand Slam finals, Paul winning the French Open in 2015 ,and Fritz getting his revenge in the US Open a few months later.
Since turn pro, they have met three times on the junior tours, Paul winning on clay in 2015 and on an outdoor hard court in 2017, whilst Fritz won when the action moved indoors later that same year.
Indian Wells Semi-Finalist Fritz
It has been more than two years since Fritz won his only senior title in Eastbourne, and his last final was before lockdown, so 2021 will count as something of a disappointment for the 23-year old, although he has still a chance to overtake John Isner and Reilly Opelka going into the winter break as the top ranking American.
A fourth round appearance at the Miami Masters had been an early season highlight, but he saved his best tennis until close to the end at Indian Wells.
There, his run to the semi-finals, saw hm beat Jannik Sinner, Matteo Berrettini, and world number four Alexander Zverev, before he was eventually beaten by Nikoloz Basilashvili.
It was his best performance to date in a Masters series event.
He began his campaign in St. Petersburg with a comfortable victory over the world number 72, Emil Ruusuvouri of Finland.
Fritz breezed through the first set, dominant on serve, and always ready to put the Finn under pressure on his, two breaks illustrative of the degree of control he had on proceedings.
When Ruusuvouri was broken at the start of the second set, the result appeared a foregone conclusion
However, the Finn gave himself brief hope by breaking back, only to surrender his serve once more. Fritz closed out the match from there.
Paul Eases Past Finn
Paul reached the semi-finals in Parma in May and his subsequent performance at the French Open enabled him to reach a career high ranking and break into the top 50 for the first time.
However, he had not been able to build on that until Indian Wels, where he reached the round of 16, his best ever showing in a Masters event, with a victory over Andriy Rublev, the top seed in St. Petersburg to his credit.
From there he went to Moscow where he lost to Marin Cilic in the second round last week, but he was given a relatively easy first round draw here this week against the Spaniard Pedro Martinez, a man more at home on a clay court.
The first set was relatively even until Martinez dropped his serve, only to level straight away. However, he was broken again and, although he had to save a break point, it was the American who claimed the set.
The tide had turned in favour of Paul and, although Martinez saved three break points early in the second set, he was only delaying the outcome. Paul broke him in his next service game and then again, enabling him to complete the comfortable win by serving out for the match.
Fritz v Paul Prediction and Tip
Matches between the pair have always been close in the part, but an indoor hard court favours the game of Fritz more than Paul, so he will start the favourite.