Taylor Fritz v Bjorn Fratangelo
There has been a lack of real American threats in the mens draws of recent tennis seasons ever since Andy Roddick retired and the likes of Mardy Fish, Sam Querrey and John Isner failed to fill that gap as effectively as fans would have liked. Now a new generation of American players are moving onto the Tour with some of those featuring here in Atlanta.
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The leading name has to be Taylor Fritz who had a strong Junior career and has made a solid start to life on the ATP Tour through 2016. There is nothing wrong with having a losing record on the Tour in your first year and Fritz can say he has already pushed the likes of Roger Federer in matches and he has reached the Final in a tournament in Memphis.
The hard courts will be his favoured surface which is no surprise considering the nation of his birth and Fritz should be looking at Atlanta as a big chance to secure top Ranking points in what is a weak field compared to what he will see the rest of the summer.
Fritz had an easy win in the First Round, but it will be tougher against Bjorn Fratangelo although he hasn’t been able to turn into a consistent performer at this level. While Fratangelo had a solid win on Tuesday evening, he has not had the best set of results on the hard courts this summer and has had a couple of poor losses in that time including last week against Andrew Whittington.
Both players will rely on their serve to put them in a position to win this match, but I think Fritz has the edge when it comes to the returning game. That should provide him the difference maker in the big moments of the match and I like the younger player to move through to the Quarter Final behind a 64, 64 win.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Taylor Fritz -3.5 Games @ 2.00 with Bet365
Prices correct at time of writing.