Tuesday’s meeting between world No. 13 Taylor Fritz and world No. 32 Sebastian Baez might not look like much on paper, as you would think the American should be able to deal with the Argentinean on the hard courts of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. These two have never played one another, but Fritz has proven to be one of the better hard-court players on the planet this season. The 24-year-old won the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells earlier in the year, defeating Rafael Nadal in the process, while Baez strongly prefers to play on clay. With that, we’re rolling with Fritz, right?
In the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast!”
While we’d like Fritz to win this match if he were at 100 percent health, he had to pull out of the Citi Open in the third set of his match against Daniel Evans, as he was dealing with some pain in his foot. That’s an injury that the American said he’s been dealing with since Wimbledon. A week later in Montreal, Fritz then lost to Evans in another three-setter. The 24-year-old has also noticeably had some struggles with the heat in recent weeks, and it is supposed to be pretty humid in Cincinnati.