Ahead of his huge Wimbledon quarter-final versus Rafael Nadal, meet American Taylor Fritz’ coaches and team.
American Taylor Fritz is into the quarter-finals at Wimbledon and has yet to drop a set. The 11th-seeded American has already surpassed his best Grand Slam run, which came earlier this year when he reached the fourth round of the Australian Open.
It has been quite the year for Fritz. He won his maiden Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells earlier in the year, becoming the first American to reach the final at the event since John Isner in 2012.
He defeated fourth seed and three-time champion Rafael Nadal in straight sets in the final, snapping the Spaniard’s 20-match winning streak.
Fritz once again faces Rafael Nadal, this time in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
Meet Taylor Fritz’ coaching team
One Taylor Fritz’ coaches is Paul Annacone, who he has been working with since 2018.
Annacone has coached a number of top players such as Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and Sloane Stephens. He also appears as an analyst and commentator on the Tennis Channel while coaching Fritz.
Annacone won three titles in his career. His best Grand Slam result was reaching the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 1984. In doubles, he won the 1985 Australian Open title with long-time partner Christo van Rensburg.
He also trains with David Nainkin
Fritz has also worked closely with American former player David Nainkin. Nainkin lives in Los Angeles but was born in Durban, South Africa, in 1970. He represented South Africa at the the 1998 and 1999 Davis Cups.
Nainkin never reached a final on the ATP Tour but made it into the semi-finals of the 1995 Nokia Open in Beijing. His best run at a Grand Slam came at the 1998 US Open when he made it into the third round.
As well as Taylor, he has worked closely with top American players such as Mardy Fish, Sam Querrey and Sloane Stephens and was head coach for the US Olympic tennis team in 2020.
Taylor Fritz’ other main coach is Michael Russell
44-year-old Michael Russell is from Detroit, Michigan, and achieved a career-high singles ranking of world no. 60 in August 2007.
Russell was a top junior player but struggled with knee injuries throughout his career. However, he still managed to reach the fourth round at the 2001 French Open and the same stage at Indian Wells in 2007.
On retirement in 2015, Russell started Michael Russell Tennis, a private tennis coaching business. He has coached the likes of Frances Tiafoe, Ryan Harrison and Sam Querrey, as well as Taylor Fritz.
Russell is confident Fritz can beat Nadal again
The Wimbledon quarter-final against Nadal will be a rematch of this year’s Indian Wells final where Taylor came out on top.
Ahead of the match, Fritz’s coach Michael Russell spoke to the ATP Tour about how the American can use that experience to his advantage.
“That’s a huge confidence booster, to have that win in his belt, in a final on such a big occasion. He needs to use that confidence and belief when he steps on court,” Russell said.
He also said that what sets Taylor apart in those big matches is he believes he can beat the top players and has the confidence and talent to do so.
Having said that, Russell knows Taylor has to be at his best to beat the 22-time Grand Slam champion.
“He has to play aggressively. Taylor plays his best tennis when he’s serving big, playing aggressively and basically taking the racquet out of his opponent’s hand. He’s staying focused and not getting caught up in playing passively and long rallies. That’s not his game,” Michael said.
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