Taylor Fritz holds off Andy Murray after Citi Open thriller hit by climate protest | Tennis

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Andy Murray got here up simply brief in a three-hour marathon in Washington DC in opposition to the world No 9, Taylor Fritz, in a Mubadala Citi Open last-16 match briefly held up by a local weather protest.

The 36-year-old, runner-up on this event 17 years in the past, gained the primary set on a tie-break and appeared to be closing on one other of his occasional assertion wins since his comeback from hip surgical procedure, when he had three break factors for a 4-2 lead within the deciding set.

However Fritz, the occasion’s high seed, managed to repel all three and went on to wrap up his fortieth win in 2023, by a last scoreline of 6-7 (2) 6-3 6-4. The American No 1 went on to beat Australia’s Jordan Thompson 6-3, 6-3 in his quarter-final match in a while Friday, and can face the Netherlands’ Tallon Griekspoor within the semi-finals.

Fritz’s epic encounter with Murray was held up whereas a gaggle of protesters who had thrown big tennis balls on to the court docket have been escorted from the stand. Murray had already smashed his racket in opposition to the ground after dropping serve within the first recreation, throwing in two double-faults amongst six unforced errors.

Murray was a degree away from a 3-0 deficit however improved because the set wore on and broke again for 5-5 as Fritz served for it, saving two set factors earlier than changing his first break level with a drop shot. The Briton dominated the tie-break and took the primary set after 87 minutes with a forehand winner.

Climate Defiance, a local climate activist group in DC, chanted and threw oversized balls on to the court.
Local weather Defiance, an area local weather activist group in DC, chanted and threw outsized balls on to the court docket. {Photograph}: Eric Kayne/Zuma Press Wire/Shutterstock

Fritz shook off his frustration and locked straight again in to interrupt initially of the second on his technique to levelling the match. The 25-year-old survived these break factors at 3-2 down within the decider, earlier than a Murray double-fault gifted Fritz three possibilities to interrupt, taking the second when his opponent’s backhand drifted lengthy.

In a dramatic last recreation, Murray introduced up three break-back factors at 0-40 however Fritz survived all of them after which squandered two match factors earlier than changing the third. After the match, he provided brief shrift to the protesters who disrupted the match.

“I get they’re protesting, however there’s simply acquired to be a greater technique to do it,” Fritz informed reporters. “I don’t perceive how individuals are going to get behind a trigger while you’re ruining everybody else’s good time. Like, it doesn’t actually make sense to me.”

“It’s annoying, clearly, after they do it. It’s ruining everybody’s time. Everybody needs to observe the tennis. I jokingly mentioned, ‘Truthfully, this makes me wish to go fly on jets extra’,” Fritz added. “I feel they’re supporting trigger, however the best way they’re doing it … who’s going to wish to pay attention after they’re simply annoying everyone?”

Dan Evans continued his return to type, profitable two matches on Friday to e-book a semi-final with Grigor Dimitrov. The British No 2 had misplaced eight of his final 9 matches earlier than arriving within the US capital, however noticed off Russia’s Alexander Shevchenko 6-4, 6-3, after which upset Frances Tiafoe in his quarter-final.

Evans broke the American second seed within the opening recreation of each units and was in a position to overcome 16 aces from Tiafoe with some very good attacking tennis, significantly down the stretch, to win 6-4, 7-5 on the Rock Creek Park Tennis Middle.

Coco Gauff reaches for a forehand during her comfortable win over Belinda Bencic.
Coco Gauff reaches for a forehand throughout her comfy win over Belinda Bencic. {Photograph}: Geoff Burke/USA Immediately Sports activities

Within the WTA occasion, Coco Gauff superior to the semi-finals with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Belinda Bencic. The sport was paused when a fan within the stadium fell ailing, however medical workers have been in a position to shortly handle the problem. After the sport, Gauff revealed she had not too long ago taken a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) course.

“At first I used to be simply ensuring that it wasn’t one thing cardiac,” Gauff mentioned. “I simply took a CPR class, so in the event that they wanted me to leap in I used to be prepared. I’ve my certification. I did ask the ref if it was cardiac. I’m positive there are extra skilled folks out right here, however she mentioned it wasn’t … that’s after I realised the particular person will in all probability be OK.”

“All people within the stadium ought to take the category,” the world No 7 added. “It took 90 minutes. I booked it on the flight from Wimbledon … it’s actually informative.” Gauff will play Liudmila Samsonova within the semi-finals, with Jessica Pegula going through Maria Sakkari on the opposite facet of the draw.

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