Taylor Fritz had an amazing time in Tokyo last year, going all the way to the final and winning the trophy by beating compatriot Frances Tiafoe. It was a huge win for Fritz, which secured him a place at the ATP Finals in Turin.
It could have been that this year as well, with many other top seeds losing, but it won't, as he failed in Tokyo today. Fritz took on native player Mochizuki, who is a solid player, but after he smashed him 6-0 in the opening set, you kind of got the idea that the American is the far superior player.
And yet he didn't win the match because Mochizuki never gave up. That resilience proved vital as the match went on because, with every won game, Mochizuki looked better and more comfortable.
Fritz wasn't terrible, but he was quite comfortably outplayed by the Japanese, who might have played the best match of his career so far.
He navigated a really close second set perfectly to win it 6-4 and then outsmarted Fritz in the final set tiebreak to win the match. It's even worse when you consider that Fritz was up 5-2 in the final set before losing the lead.
The final score was 0-6 6-4 7-6(2), which is quite a score line when you look at it. When it comes to Fritz, it's quite honestly a disaster for him. He's one of the players in a fierce battle for the final few spots at the ATP Finals and this loss is a huge missed chance for Fritz whom many saw in the final or as the winner.
If he did that, he'd be pretty much ensured a spot, but this year there is a huge chance that he won't make it. After playing there last year, that would be quite disappointing for the American.