Taylor Fritz just had himself a night at Roland Garros. The American, ranked 8th in the world, just took out France's last man standing in the tournament Arthur Rinderknech to advance to the 3rd round of the slam.
Now going into this match Taylor was a comfortable -900 favorite to win this clash. What he didn't account for was how hostile and ruthless this home crowd would be cheering on their fellow countryman. Rinderknech came out of the gates blazing hot and raced to a 6-2 first set. That only got the crowd more fired up as they tasted an upset. As the match progressed Fritz settled in and began to take control. Every time he did anything well the crowd jumped on him. On the flip side, anytime Rinderknech won a point they went bananas. In the end Fritz pulled out a 4 set W to the dismay of virtually everyone in the stands.
When the Frenchman's ball sailed long on match point Fritz erupted with a roaring shush to every single antagonizer there.
Fucking electric. As patriotic as it gets. USA running all throughout his veins securing that W in front of a crazy crowd. Fritz's girlfriend Morgan Riddle got a kick out of it while sitting court-side.
Obligatory Morgan Riddle post.
After things appeared to have settled down the French Open conducted an on court interview with Taylor to get his thoughts as they normally do after matches. Well check that, they attempted to conduct an interview.
"They cheered so well for me, I wanted to make sure I won." Baller stuff.
While the opponent certainly wasn't of the greatest quality, winning against a crowd like that is stuff athletes dream of. Nothing better than shutting up an entire arena full of people and sending them home sad as shit.
I'm sure there's going to be the loser tennis crowd out there that says these fans were so disrespectful and this was a bad look. I personally think this is great for the sport. This is nothing but fun. Get out of here with cheering for good play. Rinderknech was the last French male left in the tournament, of course they're going to rally around him and do what they can to push him through. That's what makes this kind of intense environment great to witness. While it was definitely hell for Fritz during the match that kind of win will only do wonders for him in terms of testing his nerves in the future. Newsflash, people not from America fucking hate us.
Fritz gets the Argentinian Francisco Cerúndolo next up in the 3rd round. That will be a much scarier opponent for the American, especially on clay. I also imagine the crowd will be fully on Francisco after this. Box office stuff. Appointment television in my mind.