Like it or not, Taylor Fritz is taking a page out of Sloane Stephens' playbook

After losing in singles, Fritz is finding doubles success with Holger Rune in Monte Carlo
Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Taylor Fritz's singles loss in the first round at the Monte Carlo Masters was not what he hoped for. He was a semifinalist in 2023 in Monte Carlo. The inability to defend those points could prove problematic for his ranking and will ultimately cost him the position of top-ranked American man which he has held for three years.

But all is not lost for Fritz. He is still in the tournament, honing his clay-court skills for Roland Garros and the Paris Olympics. He is accomplishing it through his doubles pairing with Holger Rune. The two made the quarterfinals in 2023 and are the earliest team into the quarterfinals this year so they will get a couple of days off which benefits Rune who is still playing singles.

Sloane Stephens recently came out and said that her doubles ranking was a priority this year, and at Charleston, she won her first career WTA doubles title with Ashlyn Krueger. Singles players tend not to say or feel that way. It is refreshing to see these top-notch players taking doubles so seriously. Fritz may not have been as willing as Stephens to focus on his doubles ranking, but he can make the most of it now at Monte Carlo and vie for his first career ATP doubles title.

Taylor Fritz's year of ups and downs

Fritz has not found consistent magic yet this year. His year got off on the wrong foot as the United States team failed to defend its United Cup title. The current ATP No. 13 is only 12-5 on the season so far. A bright spot was that he defended his 2023 Delray Beach Open title with a 2024 win.

American fans want to see Taylor Fritz win a Grand Slam. Sooner or later an American has to end the dry spell since Andy Roddick's US Open win in 2003, will it be Fritz or one of the other talented American men such as Ben Shelton, Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul, Sebastian Korda, Christopher Eubanks, or someone not even on the scene yet?

Fritz and Rune did not advance at Monte Carlo last year because of walkover. That is the danger of singles players involved in doubles. Rune is still in the tournament so hopefully that does not happen again this year. Like Fritz, Rune has never won an ATP doubles title.

Read more on Lob and Smash