10:32 PM GMT January 28, 2018
Taylor Fritz couldn't have dreamt of a better start to the year. Just three weeks after kicking off 2018 with a final run at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Noumea, the #NextGenATP American went one step further on Sunday in Newport Beach. Fritz lifted a trophy for the first time in two years, rallying past countryman Bradley Klahn 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 in one hour and 35 minutes.
The 20-year-old is not only up to No. 76 in the ATP Rankings, his highest position in more than a year, but the California native also moves to third in the ATP Race To Milan. On the rise once again, Fritz is targeting a Top 50 breakthrough in 2018.
"I have a couple goals. My first goal is to be in the Top 50," Fritz said. "I've been trying to do that for a while now and I think everything is starting to come together. It started coming together at the end of last year. Stay healthy and then long term, once I get to that goal, I really want to get seeded at the Australian Open next year. That’s my ultimate goal for this year.
“[Winning this title] just felt so good. Even though it was 5-0 (in the third set), I wanted it so bad. I was super tense. It’s been so long since I’ve won a title, which made it even more special. It’s been two years since I’ve won a tournament. It means so much for my confidence to get me back on track.”