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Taylor Fritz downs Tommy Paul to retain ATP Delray Beach Open title

Fritz celebrates his title
Fritz celebrates his titleProfimedia
Top-seeded defending champion Taylor Fritz (26) stretched his win streak in ATP finals to six matches on Monday, defeating Tommy Paul (26) 6-2, 6-3 to capture the Delray Beach Open.

World number nine Fritz claimed his seventh career ATP title in the all-American final, postponed from Sunday by rain.

Fritz became only the second player to take back-to-back Delray crowns after Australian Jason Stoltenberg, the 1996 and 1997 winner.

"It was a really tough match," Fritz said. "Hope to be back next year and try to do it again."

After taking his first ATP title at Eastbourne in 2019, Fritz lost his next four finals, but since St. Petersburg in 2021 has won championship matches at Indian Wells, Eastbourne and Tokyo in 2022 plus Delray Beach and Atlanta last year.

Fritz broke for a 3-1 lead in the opening set after Paul smashed a forehand long, then saved three break points in the seventh game to hold serve for a 5-2 edge and broke again to take the first set in 39 minutes on an errant Paul forehand.

In the second set, Fritz denied Paul on two break points in the fifth game and two more in a dramatic 15-minute seventh game.

Fritz broke with a forehand down-the-line winner in the eighth game for a 5-3 lead and then held serve at love with new balls to claim the crown when Paul netted a forehand after an hour and 40 minutes.

Paul, ranked 14th, saw the end of a seven-match win streak that matched his career best. Paul won his second career ATP crown last week at Dallas.

Fritz improved to 3-2 in his career rivalry with pal Paul, who had won their prior meeting in last year's Acapulco semi-finals.

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