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Taylor Fritz. (Twitter/BNPPARIBASOPEN)

Joel Drucker: Indian Wells - Angles & Dropshots

Proud Papa: Yesterday in this column, Taylor Fritz’s father, Guy, cited Pancho Segura on the importance of the return of serve, particularly as a match headed towards crunch time. Last night came the test – Taylor in the third, up against big-serving Marin Cilic. Fritz delivered, in that final set breaking Cilic three times. I caught up with Guy this afternoon, who told me, “He came up with some big returns on big points. He put more balls in play and was able to apply pressure on second serves. I was happy. He says sometimes that I don’t give him compliments. Well, today I am.”

Passing of the Torch: Mylan WorldTeamTennis co-founder Billie Jean King announced the sale of her majority ownership to Washington Kastles owner Mark Ein and Fred Luddy, owner of the San Diego Aviators. Perhaps the most interesting data point is that Ein and Luddy plan to expand the six-team league, with four new teams in 2018 and, in time, a total of 16. With so many tournaments now gone from North America, WTT’s summer season could indeed continue to fill a gap in spectator access to pro events. And as Ein, who as a child ball-boyed at the Washington, DC event (then sponsored by the now defunct newspaper, The Washington Star), the path to a life in tennis often begins with face-to-face contact with the best players in the world.

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