Taylor Fritz on partnering with Rolex and life on and off the court

A new generation of stars is rising as the old guard of professional tennis recede from the stage, and shining as one of the brightest is Taylor Fritz. The top-ranked American tennis player talks to Stephenie Gee about partnering with Rolex and life on and off the court

For the better part of the last two decades, tennis has been dominated by the “Big Three”: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. But the trio are now gradually losing their grip on the sport – Nadal is blighted by injuries, Federer retired last year and Djokovic’s unvaccinated status continues to stir controversy – leaving something of a vacancy at the top and an opening for a superstar (or a few) to set himself apart from the dynamic bevy of young talents.

Enter Taylor Fritz. The 25-year-old top- ranked American man and Rolex testimonee known for his big serves is coming off a smashing year in 2022, having claimed his maiden Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells, snapping Nadal’s 20-match win streak and breaking into the top 10 for the first time.

What are your overall thoughts about Rolex’s long-standing support of tennis?

Rolex has been and is a constant in the sport of tennis and has contributed to the success of the sport as a whole. For over 40 years, Rolex has supported and grown this game that we all know and love, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of Rolex’s next generation of success.

Can you tell us about your relationship with Rolex?

When I was growing up, some of my family members owned Rolex watches which they treasured and all had worked so hard for and treated themselves to. Seeing those watches, I aspired to have the same success in sports, business and life. When I turned professional, one of the first things my agent and I spoke about was trying to find the right long-term partners. The first dream partner I spoke to him about was Rolex. Thankfully, it worked out and I was lucky enough to become one of the first young ambassadors. I still have to pinch myself when I see my name beside a brand like Rolex and I’m so honoured to do my part in supporting the legacy that Rolex has built in tennis.

Which Rolex watches do you have, and do you have any stories about them?

I have two watches I love equally – it’s impossible to choose! I’m so proud to wear them and represent the brand.

How much of an influence have your parents had on your professional career having both been tennis players themselves?

They have been the biggest influence of all. Their belief in me as a tennis player has greatly contributed to my success in the junior and professional levels. Having parents who both played at such a high level, especially my mom who was top 10, gave me a lot of belief to know that with hard work it was possible.

Your game appears to be well suited to all surfaces, demonstrated by the strong run at last year’s Wimbledon and success during the hard court season. Do you have a particular favourite playing surface?

I do like to think that I can achieve success on any surface, but I have to say my favourite surface is hard courts with grass being a close second. I feel that the hard court surface suits my game best as that’s what I grew up playing on. It’s what I’m most comfortable on for sure, but grass and even clay courts now that I’m stronger and moving better can really play into my strengths too. I’m excited to see what I can do on all surfaces in the coming years.

Which of your five ATP Tour singles titles do you consider most significant?

I appreciate all my wins, but if I were to choose, winning the 2022 BNP Paribas Open men’s singles title in Indian Wells was the most significant. Growing up in Southern California and often attending the tournament with my dad as a kid, it was special to be able to win this title in front of my family and friends. My dad always told me that I was going to win Indian Wells, so it felt incredible to make this dream of ours a reality.

How did it feel winning that first ATP Masters title?

It was a feeling that I can barely describe – overwhelming joy, pride and appreciation. It was nice to feel my hard work paying off! I don’t think I’ve ever felt so much joy on a tennis court!

As one of the players featured in the new Netflix docuseries Break Point, do you enjoy being in front of the camera and what impact do you think this will have on the sport?

I do enjoy being in front of the camera as I feel I have an opportunity to shape the way that the sport is viewed. The game is changing and I have this great opportunity to bring new fans into the sport with the Netflix docuseries. The docuseries brings the fans into the everyday life of a tennis player and allows for a more personal connection to be had with the player, which I think is so important. We all saw what it did for Formula 1 and we’re hoping this can have a similar impact.

It’s your seventh year playing professionally. What are your goals for the future, both on and off the court?

Breaking into the top five and winning a Grand Slam.

How do you like to relax and spend time away from tennis?

Off the court, I do try to have fun and enjoy time off. I like to play video games, hang out with friends and family, and go to nice restaurants whenever I can to experience the local food.

Also see: Fred: An exclusive French Open jewellery capsule for tennis lovers

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