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Return Winners: The 2019 ATP Eastbourne final
Taylor Fritz and Sam Querrey battled in the last event before Wimbledon.
Published Jun 27, 2020
Taylor Fritz and Sam Querrey squared off in the first all-American final in Eastbourne, England.
After a grueling and ambitious clay-court schedule in 2019—one that saw him play eight straight weeks—Fritz soon took to the grass courts in preparation for Wimbledon.
Having reached his first ATP Tour final back in 2016 at only 18, the American had experienced a series of ups and downs in his young career, but a sense of renewed focus had put him back on a forward path. His efforts paid off with a run to the final in Eastbourne, England, his third grass-court event of the year. On his way to the championship match, he posted wins against Guido Pella and Kyle Edmund, the first and third seeds, respectively.
Fritz would take on a fellow unseeded American, Querrey, for the title. The former Wimbledon semifinalist was playing his first tournament in several months due to an abdominal injury that kept him on the sidelines. Querrey defeated two seeded players, too, and only dropped one set en route to the final.
Going into this contest, there was a huge difference in championship-match experience: Fritz was making his first appearance in a final since that 2016 run in Memphis, while Querrey was playing the 18th of his career. The two had met on four prior occasions, with an even split in wins between them. In this match, their first encounter on grass, it was Fritz who started off with a veteran’s poise, breaking Querrey in his opening game. From there, the 21-year-old was able to maintain his advantage and take the first set 6-3.
At the beginning of the second set, Querrey started off with a 40-0 lead in his first game. However, the veteran was unable to hold on and Fritz earned his second break of the match. Playing solidly as more errors crept into Querrey’s game, Fritz found himself serving up 5-4 for the first title of his career. The young American clinched victory with an ace down the middle to put the perfect cap on an extensive spring-into-early-summer stretch.
Fritz became the second American to win his first singles title on the year after his good friend Reilly Opelka came in first in New York earlier in the season.
Querrey was playing in the fourth grass-court final of his career. His record dropped to 1-3 in those matches, with his lone title on the surface coming at the Queen’s Club Championships in 2010.
Fritz’s win marked the fifth straight year an American male won a singles title on grass.