World number 24 Taylor Fritz has revealed he hopes to play this year’s US Open in August – if the tournament is on – while this lockdown period has allowed him to work on achieving optimal fitness levels.
Fritz, who turns 23 in October, admitted he’s unsure whether the year’s final Grand Slam will go ahead as planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic – albeit behind closed doors.
During a conversation with Reuters, he admitted that his optimistic attitude might not be enough, saying: “They are aiming for a certain time, but I think that time is a little bit unrealistic.
The goal is to play the U.S. Open but personally I don’t know how they are going to be able to do that. They want to be optimistic but it is tough as it keeps being pushed back.”
With a home gym and private tennis court at his disposal, Fritz also said he’s working on his fitness right now during the lockdown period and currently in the best shape of his life to date.
“I am spending more time working out than in training these days – there is nothing else I can really do.”
“I could [play] right now. I have been practicing enough to keep my level and then with all the gym stuff I have been doing I am in the best shape ever, ready to go.”
The vast majority of players have been severely affected by the pandemic, unable to train or having access to state-of-the-art facilities they usually would.
Fritz said it’ll be interesting to see how players fare once the sport’s suspension is lifted, eventually.
“I think this time is going to be really interesting when all the players come back to play. You are going to see which players took the time to work on their fitness and get stronger and what players didn’t work during this time.”
He reached his first ATP Final at the Mexican Open where he lost in straight-sets to Rafael Nadal on March 1, just a week before the sport’s shutdown came into effect.
“That was a really big result for me so I would say that after that my season was going really well and I was excited to bring that momentum into Indian Wells and Miami.”
“So it kind of sucks that they were cancelled, as I thought I had a good streak going.”
“Mentally it is tough without having a start date. It would be easier if we had [one]. At least for me, mindset-wise I am in a good place because I have a pretty high ranking so I am happy.”