Fritz edges Tiafoe, clinches Japan Open

Taylor Fritz
Taylor Fritz poses with the trophy. Photo: Reuters/Androniki Christodoulou

Taylor Fritz beat fellow American Frances Tiafoe 7-6(3), 7-6(2) in a tense final to win the Japan Open on Sunday and claim his third title of the year.

The two 24-year-olds traded breaks in the opening set before the greater consistency of Fritz took him ahead in the tie-break and he secured it with a cracking forehand.

The second set was equally intense as Fritz's serve proved impenetrable and Tiafoe bravely defended several break point chances inside Tokyo's Ariake Coliseum.

In the tie-break, Fritz raced into a 6-2 lead with relentless power and accuracy before sealing victory when Tiafoe's forehand went out.

Fritz, assured of breaking into the top 10 after beating Canada's Denis Shapovalov in the semifinals, also won titles in Eastbourne and Indian this year.

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