KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 25: Taylor Fritz of the United States serves against David Ferrer of Spain in their second round match during the Miami Open Presented by Itau at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 25, 2016 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Joel Drucker: Taylor Fritz Earns First-Ever Main Draw Win At Indian Wells

Playing his first round match at the BNP Paribas Open, nineteen-year-old American Taylor Fritz took just over an hour to dispatch Frenchman Benoit Paire 63, 62. On the surface this could have been an engaging match – the Southern California-raised Fritz, up against a man who can sizzle. But in this case, Paire melted, early in the match consulting a trainer for a foot-related injury. Soon enough, all the air went out of the balloon. With Paire limited to random cracks and frequent drop shots, a composed Fritz raced through each set and earned his first main draw win this went.

“I always think I play well here,” Fritz said of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. “This is where I'm from. I have played in Indian Wells since I was, like, eight years old probably, I have come down here for tournaments. Just being from San Diego my whole life and having a lot of family that lives out here in the desert, it's like a second home to me.

“I have been telling everyone this week, man, I think I have been playing my best tennis ever this week. It's been going really well in practice, and I just hope that I can kind of just bring that onto the court in my next match.”

Next for Fritz, a much rougher customer than Paire: a first time meeting with the sixth seed here, 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic.

Said Fritz on that matchup, “We do have similar-type games, we're both pretty serve-dependent. I'd say we are both pretty solid off of both sides and play aggressive baseline tennis. . . So if that's the play, then hopefully I can create chances on his serve. It's going to be one of those matches where I'm going to have to just control my service games and then, when I get the chances on his serve, I need to take them.”

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