Fritz flies into Wimbledon quarters to earn family stripes

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LONDON : Until Monday, Wimbledon’s 11th seed Taylor Fritz was not even the best tennis player in his own family.

But with some hefty swipes of a garish coral-coloured racket on Court One, the American finally earned his family stripes by reaching the quarter-finals of the grasscourt grand slam.

His 6-3 6-1 6-4 win over qualifier Jason Kubler put him into the last eight here, and saw him match the grand slam feat of his mother who, as Kathy May, reached three slam quarter-finals in the late 1970s.

“My first grand slam quarter-final, that’s really a big deal,” the 24-year-old Fritz said before leaving court. “Part of the final eight and… I’m glad I could get the win on the Fourth of July, being American.”

It was a muscular and domineering display from Fritz, champion on grass at Eastbourne coming into this tournament, and the outcome was never really in doubt from the start with the gulf in class only yawning wider as the match progressed.

Australian qualifier Kubler had already written another chapter of his remarkable success-in-the-face-of-adversity fairytale by reaching the second week. He has survived six knee operations to further his career but just ran out of steam and Wimbledon road.

Having beaten Kubler, the player known as “the right-handed Nadal”, Fritz could next face the real deal, with Spain’s second-seeded Rafa a possible last-eight opponent.

Nadal takes on Botic van de Zandschlup later on Day Eight.

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