APRIL 21 - MAY 4, 2025

Fritz bids to emulate Agassi in Madrid

Very few Americans have ever set foot in the men’s semi-finals at the Mutua Madrid Open. So few, in fact, that since the tournament moved from hard court to the clay of the Caja Magica in 2009, Taylor Fritz is the first one to achieve the feat.

The player from San Diego beat Argentina’s Francisco Cerúndolo (6-1, 3-6, 6-3) on Tuesday to match his compatriots Andre Agassi (2002 and 2004) and Robby Ginepri (2005) as the only ones to have reached the penultimate round in the Spanish capital.

“I returned really well in the first set and to be honest, he made some mistakes and I think then he made it better. I found some balls to attack him. Then in the second set he had a break chance and he took it. It was really hard to find balls to attack him because I didn’t feel comfortable playing points from the baseline”, he said.

One hour and 47 minutes were all Fritz needed to bring Cerúndolo’s great week to an end and on Friday he will battle it out for a place in the final with seventh seed Andrey Rublev, who staged a comeback against double defending champion and local hero Carlos Alcaraz (4-6, 6-3, 6-2).

The California native held tight during the most testing moments against the man from Buenos Aires, the first player to take a set off him in the tournament, thanks to his aggressive game with 18 winners and a high rate of success on his first service (82%) as well as connecting with 5 aces to reach a total of 35 from four matches in Madrid.

“I think the difference from other clay courts here are the bounces that are still very high from my heavy forehands. My service I think was slower in night conditions. The day conditions are better for my serve and attack”, he explained.

Fritz, who already has experience of a Masters 1000 semi-final on clay in Monte Carlo (2023) and a title from the category from Indian Wells (2022), will be bidding to emulate an Agassi who is the only US champion of the MMOPEN, and the first name in the winners’ circle at the tournament’s first ever edition in the Madrid Arena (2002).