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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday, October 5 2022

From quarantine to the winner’s circle, Taylor Fritz got out of Seoul just in time to take his place in the Rakuten Open draw and notch a three-set win over James Duckworth on Wednesday night.

After the match the American World No.11 talked about his harrowing journey.

Tennis Express

Fritz said he was too sick to exercise in his room in Seoul, after he was forced to pull out of the draw due to Covid. He bided his time and finally did some cardio over the last three days, and when he produced a negative test, he was clear to fly to Tokyo and arrived just in time for his Wednesday start.

He defeated Duckworth 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-1 to set a second round clash with Japan’s Hiroki Moriya.

It was Fritz's first win in Tokyo, on his fourth career appearance.

"[I'm feeling] better than I thought I would be," Fritz said in his post-match press conference. "I don't feel amazing, but I'm really happy that I was able to go through all that and still show up and win my match."

Fritz, who is currently in 10th in the ATP’s Race to Turin, says he was concerned about playing so soon.

"I was more concerned about the cardio and my conditioning after being really sick and not having been able to do anything. Luckily the court was very fast, and so we were not playing long points, so physically I was OK."

The American has had a fantastic season, winning the Indian Wells title in March and reaching his first Slam quarterfinal at Wimbledon, where he defeated Rafael Nadal on Centre Court.

But to reach the prestigious ATP Finals field he will need to make up some ground. He is currently 430 points behind the pace of Felix Auger-Aliassime, and 250 points behind Hubert Hurkacz. Fritz would likely need to pass both to get in, unless Rafael Nadal opts out of the World Tour Finals this year.

For now, he's just happy to have another win under his belt.