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March 12, 2018

Taylor Fritz

Indian Wells, California

T. FRITZ/F. Verdasco

4-6, 6-2, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was that like, having the crowd chant your name and clapping rhythmically in a place you're so familiar with? It had to be a really big -- you seemed very emotional afterwards, too.
TAYLOR FRITZ: Yeah. You know, just to get through that match was, you know, I got to let a lot of emotions out that I kept in. And to pull out a match whenever it's close like that can go either way. You're nervous. It just makes the feeling even better when you win and to have the crowd supporting, as well. It's just like -- it's like a dream.

Q. In your career, you have played 12 final-set tiebreaks and you've won 11. How does that happen?
TAYLOR FRITZ: I think it speaks to my strengths on court, which is just being clutch and playing my best tennis in the big moments. Kind of when it comes down to it like that, I don't get too nervous. And I am aware and it's probably the stat that I'm most proud about in my tennis career is my third-set tiebreak records. It shows that I'm clutch.

Q. The two match points at 5-4, how concerned did you get? Did you get any nerves at all when you didn't convert either of those two?
TAYLOR FRITZ: When I didn't convert either of those two, I actually probably loosened up a bit. I think I was the most tense for those two, because you never know. Especially the first one, when you get into the point, especially with me, I have options. Do I want to make more balls? Do I want to pull the trigger and go for it? It's a lot of shoulda, coulda, woulda, I guess.

But I tried to just focus up on my service game after I lost those two, and I told myself to just make him beat me in a third set breaker, because that's my specialty.

Q. Last year you said you were quite keen on getting to Milan. You were checking the race every day. This year you haven't had a chance. What's it like?
TAYLOR FRITZ: It's the same -- it's the same thing. I mean, my goals for this year definitely go beyond Milan. So, you know, I think if I achieve a lot of the goals I put out for myself, like break into the top 50, finishing the year in a spot to be seeded for the 2019 Australian Open, if I achieve those goals, then, in it all, I will be in Milan. So it's definitely something I'm looking forward to and working towards, but I definitely have a lot of other goals, as well.

Q. Is it any kind of relief, the fact you have been able to get to the fourth round of a big tournament? Does it confirm that you have what it takes to get to here? You never doubted it, or this is something that makes you say, I belong here?
TAYLOR FRITZ: You know, I know I have had it in myself for a long time, but it means a lot to me, especially after doing so well in 2016 and having a bit of an off end of 2016 and 2017 with a lot of people -- a lot of people saying that I'm done. I'm not gonna -- I'm not gonna do it or I don't have it.

So it feels really good to prove people wrong and, you know, do what I know I have been able to do this whole time to finally do what I know I can do.

Q. In reaching the fourth round here, how much did the Oracle challengers, your opportunity to play in those tournaments, Newport Beach and here, how much did it help you?
TAYLOR FRITZ: The Newport Beach challenger gave me a lot of confidence that I needed. My first title in a very long time. The confidence you get from winning a tournament is huge, especially for me.

I think confidence is everything. I think it's something that's very underrated in tennis. Honestly, it's like confidence is so important going into matches, and if you win or not. So I think the confidence through Newport and the experience of playing the challenger here got me ready for this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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