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November 7, 2018

Taylor Fritz

Fiera Milano, Italy

T. FRITZ/L. Caruana

1-4, 4-1, 4-3, 4-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously you have known him a long time at this point. So what was that experience like for you?
TAYLOR FRITZ: I think I was a little worried because he definitely has it in his mind that he can beat me, because he's beaten me lots of time when we were four years old.

I remember a certain match with him where he beat me 2 and 0 in the semis of a national in Claremont.

But, yeah, we're really good friends. And, I mean, can't even count how many times we must have played each other when we were 12 and 14 years old. So that was definitely an interesting thing going into the match to kind of think about.

Q. And just in that same train of thought, Frances has mentioned and you have spoken about it, when you were younger sort of the other American guys maybe not thinking that you would be here at this point years ago. So what has it been like sort of chasing after them and now you're on this big stage with guys like this?
TAYLOR FRITZ: I don't know. I always kind of stayed in the system of, like, playing in Southern California, sometimes playing nationally. And I went to regular high school. And I always thought I was probably much better than I actually was when I was at that age, like, 14, 15 years old.

And then I decided to leave school for a bit and go to USTA to train in Florida where all the real good guys are. And that's when I realized that, wow, like, if I actually wanted to be a pro, like, I'm going to have to be better than those guys.

And so I really went to work, and I had those guys to build off. So I slowly started getting some wins off these guys and improving and improving. And I just worked really, really hard.

And, you know, they will all tell you Tommy, Riley, Kozlov, Frances, I wasn't even close to the same -- being in the same league as those guys.

But I think a lot of it for me was I had no pressure, and I felt like I had nothing to lose. Because at that time, I didn't take tennis as seriously as they did. So, you know, over time I caught up.

And it's crazy, I guess, looking back now at where I am now and all the things I expect of myself now, and back then it was like -- it seemed so far. All of this that I'm doing right now just seemed impossible.

Q. Can you talk a little about this format? You know, first to go to four games. Is it tough to start? How do you have to start off and how do you prepare yourself?
TAYLOR FRITZ: I mean, my starts have been bad the last two matches.

But as far as the format goes, I like it a lot, I think. I think it makes tennis more entertaining and it's trying something new. So I think tennis needs to try to appeal to be more exciting and get younger fans involved. And everyone I've talked to said they find this more exciting. They want to be watching the whole match, and I like that.

There's certain things I would definitely change. I disagree with coaching. I think tennis is individual and how you analyze the match yourself should have an important impact on the result.

But the sets to four games, three out of five, I really like that. Because sometimes I can find myself getting bored in, like, a set just holding serves a lot. Like, get me to a tie-breaker. Or if I drop my serve, then I'm upset at the beginning of the set and I have to be upset about it the whole entire set. In this format, if you're playing a bad set, it's over with and you're right into a new one quickly. So I like that a lot.

And then the no-ad and all that stuff definitely adds more pressure for sure, which anytime it's, like, a big point, it adds more excitement. The players are going to get more fired up. The fans are getting more fired up. So I really like the changes to be honest.

Q. Would you say that this format more than the longer set favors the bigger server?
TAYLOR FRITZ: No. No, no, no. I think it probably favors the server as much as a regular set does to be honest. I didn't think of it like that. I think it just favors whoever is going to play the bigger points better in my opinion.

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