Taylor Fritz is the top seed at this week’s Dallas Open, an ATP 250 in Texas. Ahead of his second-round match against Jack Sock on Thursday, the 24-year-old, who is career No. 19 in the ATP rankings, spoke to ATPTour.com about his life on the ATP Tour.
This is the latest edition to ATPTour.com’s Next Stop – Nomadic Life series.
What are two essential non-tennis related items that you always pack on trips?
I always bring my computer for entertainment. Apart from the tennis stuff, I don’t know if there are any other essentials. Obviously toiletries and stuff.
What item did you forget to bring once that caused you distress?
I’m more of a last-second packer, so every once in a while I’ll leave out a few things. But never anything too serious. I pack my bags the hour before I leave. I just like doing that.
Are you someone who arrives at the airport with a lot of free time or do you cut it well?
I usually set a fairly safe departure time as I am usually 15 minutes late. Usually I cut it close, but I never worry too much about it.
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As a tennis player, maintaining your body is of the utmost importance, so how do you take care of it on long trips?
I have my physio, so we will work to try to relax the body, especially the day after landing. But probably the most important thing on a long day of travel is to make sure I get into the correct time zone as soon as possible. So if I land in the morning, I make sure to stay up and go to bed at a regular time. Definitely no nap the first day.
You beat jet lag on the first day. I don’t know what people believe, but you’re either going to hurt it or beat it depending on the first day you get there.
How long did it take you to realize this?
I think I’ve always known that, at least for the past two years. But sometimes it’s just hard. You’re really, really tired when you come home sometimes. I feel like I’ve done a better job lately of fighting and staying up until the right time.
How do we pass the time on airplanes?
Sleep. I spend more than half my time on a plane sleeping. By design, I often stay up a bit later the night before, which makes it easier for me to fall asleep when I get on the plane. I’m really good at sleeping anywhere. I love sleeping.
Is it for sleeping or in general?
I would say for tennis. I do it a lot on the road. I feel like I play better when I’m extremely well rested.
Watch Fritz’s Los Cabos Tour:
On landing, especially after a long flight, should you go directly to see your physiotherapist to take care of everything?
I go. If he’s already there, I’ll do it and we’ll get on the table to untie the body and everything. But if we land at different times, sometimes I’ll land after a long night flight and fall asleep, and sometimes I’ll land in the morning and try to get through a training day.
Have you ever decided to play a specific tournament partly because you wanted to go to that city?
Not really. I think there were tournaments I went to where it also worked out because I wanted to go too. I wanted to go to Doha and Dubai last year, but it also made sense with my schedule. During the Asian Swing, when I had to choose between Beijing and Tokyo, I choose Tokyo because I always wanted to go to Japan.
When choosing your program, how do you select your tournaments? Is it just based on what suits your tennis best?
Maybe tournaments I’ve played well in the past or feel good about. I will even sometimes look at the specific type of balls they use in a tournament. I think that plays a big part in that…I always think about feeling good physically, where I’m going to play good tennis and reach the heights of the bigger events.
What is your favorite vacation destination?
Probably Hawaii. I kinda like Hawaii. I went there when I was quite young [for the first time].
You are here at the first Dallas Open this week. What do you think of the tournament moving here this year?
It’s awesome. I think it’s a very good initiative. It’s between Florida and Los Angeles… I like that there’s a tournament here now. I think it will go very well. I think the fans are going to be really good and I hope it goes well.