Georgia Tech graduate Kevin King fell short of an upset against No. 2 seed Taylor Fritz in the second round of the BB&T Atlanta Open Thursday night. Fritz ousted the hometown favorite 6-2, 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2016, his Atlanta debut.
King, a former All-American from Peachtree City, said he looks forward to the Open and the opportunity to play in Atlanta again.
“This is one of the best tournaments of the year for me, being able to play in front of family and friends,” he said. “It’s just incredible being in my hometown.”
But it wasn’t all good on Thursday, as Fritz, 21, made quick work of King in low-scoring sets. King, 28, only managed to best his opponent in five games and was displeased with his serves. Meanwhile, Fritz was able to come up with big serves at key moments.
In the second set and after trailing 0-3, King took three straight to tie the set, but Fritz refused to relent, taking the next three games to win the set 6-3 and the match.
“That’s what he does,” King said. “That’s what makes him a great player.”
To get to Thursday’s match, King defeated world ranked No. 53 Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 6-4 in the Bulgarian’s second-worst ATP loss. King earned his first tour-level win and biggest career victory.
Fritz (32nd) outranks King (405th) in the world rankings and is coming off his first ATP Tour title earlier this year.
In the first set, Fritz and King traded the first four games for a tied set at 2-2. Fritz won the next four to take the set.
In the second set, Fritz jumped ahead 3-0 but King rallied by taking the next three games to tie it.
“It’s not easy playing someone who’s playing in their hometown, who has really nothing to lose against you,” Fritz said.
Fritz recovered his momentum, and off a couple key serves, won the rest of the set to advance to the quarterfinals.
Fritz will play Miomir Kecmanovic Friday.
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