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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday October 13, 2021

American Taylor Fritz is having a career week at the BNP Paribas Open, and it’s about time. The 23-year-old California native has been a promising talent on tour for several years. Back in 2016 Fritz became the youngest American to reach an ATP semi-final since 1989 – he was just 18 at the time, and had won the US Open junior title about six months prior.

Clearly he had potential, and loads of it...

Tennis Express

Fritz has fulfilled his promise in many ways, becoming a perennial Top-50 player for the last two years and even cracking the Top-30, reaching as high as 24.

But it wasn’t until this week at Indian Wells where Fritz really made his mark at a top-tier event. He defeated No.7-ranked Matteo Berrettini in the third round and then followed that up on Wednesday with a steely takedown of Italy’s Jannik Sinner, a rising talent who is ranked 14 in the world.

The 6-4, 6-3 triumph marks the second time that Fritz has notched consecutive Top-20 victories.

He’s running hot in the present but Fritz has an even grander version of his not too distant future. He says that in a few years he plans to be a souped-up version of his current self. If that’s true, look out Top-20.

“I think the finished version of my game, I'm going to be playing a lot like I was today,” Fritz told Tennis Now after his win on Wednesday. “I'd like to still improve my serve even more, then have my forehand be even more reliable than it is now, more of a weapon, less errors on it.”

Fritz also said that the future version of himself will trek up to the net more often, behind the booming ground strokes that he so easily produces.

“I've been working a lot on coming forward to net,” he said. “I'd love to be able to finish more points at net, feel more comfortable with it, because I hurt people with my power, kind of back them up. Coming to net can add another layer to my game.”

Other areas of focus in the Fritz camp? Perfecting the return and working on quickness around the court.

“Just improving the return, becoming stronger and faster, which I've been able to do over the past couple years,” he said. “I think there's still a lot of room for improvement.”

On Friday Fritz will face off red-hot Alexander Zverev, hoping to continue his dream run on home soil. Even if he doesn’t notch the upset, he knows the future is bright.

“Everyone kind of peaks at different times, but I'm 23 right now,” he said. “I just know that I'm nowhere near where I think I'm going to be as a player.”