At least one of the seeds had to win on Wednesday afternoon on Centre Court at IGA Stadium in Montréal.
And the seed who did was Taylor Fritz (10) of the US, who defeated his countryman Frances Tiafoe 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 in 2 hours and 3 minutes.
While the match never reached the level of the major showdowns, it was suspenseful until the very end with its fair share of ups and downs—a real rollercoaster.
The first break didn’t come until the 11th game of the first set, but the rest of the match was chock-full of them. There was a glimmer of hope for Tiafoe, who surprised his rival in the opening set, but Fritz recovered to completely dominate the second. The 24-year-old Californian deployed his weapons and collected break after break to level the playing field.
The third set was especially uneven. Tiafoe broke his opponent twice in a row to take a seemingly insurmountable 4-0 lead but suddenly lost his nerve. He dropped the next six games, and Fritz secured the win.
“There were a lot of ups and downs,” said Fritz. “Despite losing the first set and being down 4-0 in the third, I kept fighting. That’s what I take away from the match. The top seeds are gone, but if I want to go far, I have to play a lot better.”
NORRIE TAKES FLIGHT
On the other courts, Cameron Norrie of Great Britain positively pulverized Botic van de Zandschulp 6-1, 6-2 in 66 minutes. Australian Alex de Minaur blew away Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria with a 7-6 (4), 7-5 win on his third match point.
Gaël Monfils needed two tiebreaks to send Maxime Cressy packing 7-6 (10), 7-6 (6).
Diego Schwartzman of Argentina wasn’t able to repeat his first-round comeback and lost 6-4, 6-2 to Albert Ramos-Vinola of Spain in just under two hours (1:58).