Taylor Fritz hits back at ATP over awards snub despite Nadal triumph

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Taylor Fritz has hit out after being overlooked for the 2022 ATP Most Improved award despite enjoying the most profitable year of his career. Back in March, the American won a maiden Masters 1000 title when he overcame Rafa Nadal to take the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

The success didn’t end there for Fritz, 25, who also produced his best showing in a Grand Slam to reach the quarter finals of Wimbledon, where this time he succumbed to Nadal in a five set thriller. He later won the Japan Open and reached the semi-finals of the ATP Finals in Turin, where he was beaten by eventual champion Novak Djokovic.

It all meant he finished 2022 ranked No 9 in the world, the first time he has ended the season inside the top-10. But despite this, the ATP have declined to consider him for the honour, instead listing Carlos Alcaraz, Maxime Cressy, Jack Draper, and Holger Rune as the candidates.

The list was posted on Twitter by tennis journalist Jose Morgado, which provoked a reaction from Fritz. Sharing the post, he wrote: “Feel like I could’ve been nominated for most improved….not saying I should win it or anything crazy like that but maybe just a nom.”

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Many of the California man’s 57,000 followers appeared to agree, with @RajneeshFreedom replying with: “Fully agree!! Fritz has been awesome this year.” Former proferssional player Justin Gimelstob added: “Completely agree and love that you aren’t afraid to call it out!”

Many fans also questioned the inclusion of relative rookies: “I think newcomers should be ineligible for most improved,” argued @R00349. “Obviously, the 18-year-old who wasn’t playing ATP-level tennis last year would have improved. The 25-year-old who made significant improvements to his game, that’s more impressive to me.”

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Fritz, or more so his team, have not been completely ignored though. Mentor Michael Russell has been nominated for the Coach of the Year award, alongside Christian Ruud, Goran Ivanisevic, Frederic Fontang and Juan Carlos Ferrero.

That category has been mocked by Nick Kyrgios, who reached his first Slam final at SW19 this year. The controversial Aussie tweeted: “TBH I should be in coach of the year, I coached myself to a Wimbledon final,” alongside a laughter emoji.

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