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Top-seeded Fritz powers into Atlanta final against Vukic

Top-seeded American Taylor Fritz defeated compatriot J.J. Wolf 6-3, 7-5 on Saturday to book a title clash with Australian Aleksandar Vukic in the ATP Tour hardcourt tournament in Atlanta.

Fritz, ranked ninth in the world, will be chasing his second title of the season after lifting his fifth career ATP trophy in Delray Beach in February.

“It was really solid,” Fritz said. “I served well the whole match.

“Whenever I was in trouble, I played a lot of good points, I just did what I was supposed to do and didn’t really give him much,” added Fritz, who saved both break points he faced.

Vukic, the 27-year-old from Sydney, defeated Frenchman Ugo Humbert 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 7-5 to reach his maiden ATP Tour final.

The Australian was playing in his first ATP Tour semifinal after upsetting local favourite and Wimbledon quarterfinalist Christopher Eubanks in the quarters.

Vukic, who hit 34 winners and 17 aces, came alive in the second set tie-break and having found his aggressive style worked, he powered towards victory against the 38th-ranked left-hander Humbert.

“This is unbelievable. I was getting totally outplayed. He was destroying me, and I kind of just relaxed and then went for it,” he said.

“I was down one nil, mini-break in the tiebreak and just went for the return and felt the momentum, felt the crowd, and just used it and then broke in the first game of the third. A little hiccup then, but recovered and I couldn’t be happier,” he said.

Fritz and Vukic have never met before, and the Australian knows he is the clear underdog.

“It’s going to be a tough match. I need to serve well and return well and play like I did in the second and third set and I think anything’s possible with this energy, with this environment.

“I’ve got nothing to lose, so let’s see what happens,” he said.

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