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Fritz starts grass-court season with win over Karatsev in Stuttgart

Tennis: ATP Tour - Stuttgart

15 June 2023, Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart: Tennis: ATP Tour - Stuttgart, Singles, Men, Round of 16. Karazev (Russia) - Fritz (USA). Taylor Fritz serves. Photo: Marijan Murat/dpa (Photo by Marijan Murat/picture alliance via Getty Images)

dpa/picture alliance via Getty I

STUTTGART, Germany -- Taylor Fritz held serve throughout as he started his grass-court season by beating Aslan Karatsev 7-6 (4), 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Stuttgart Open.

Fritz had to save set point at 5-4 down in the first set, which later went to a tiebreak where Fritz raced into a 5-2 lead before sealing the set. Fritz broke Karatsev for the first time at 3-2 in the second set to put himself on course for the win.

Fritz, the highest-ranked American on the men’s tour at No. 8, said he was “really happy” with the win and pleased with his serving and returning on grass. Last year was Fritz’s most successful season on the surface, where he won Eastbourne for the second time and reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon.

Fritz is seeded second and had a bye in the first round in Stuttgart. He goes on to meet Marton Fucsovics in the quarterfinals after the Hungarian won against Wu Yibing 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

Top-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas takes on the experienced Richard Gasquet in his first grass-court match of 2023 later in Stuttgart.