I must say, I was not that impressed when I saw American hopeful Taylor Fritz get creamed in mixed doubles at last year's U.S. Open. (He seemed like he could barely return the serve of Martina Hingis, who won the women's title the year he was born!) But I sure was dazzled watching him advance into this year's main draw at the Australian Open. After looking sharp and being two points away from a straight-sets win, he got a little unlucky in the tiebreak then quickly slipped to being down 4-0 in the third against German lefty Mischa Zverev, whose game suddenly started to work. But the American -- whose record as a teen puts him in the same company as Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin del Potro, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic -- did not panic. Instead, he remained relaxed -- looking incredibly "suave" (as Mary Carillo put it) -- and confident as he rallied off six straight games to seal his spot in his first major singles draw. Not sure if he -- or anyone, really -- can live up to the hype that surrounds him. But I am eager to see what's next for the new Cary Grant of tennis.
Taylor's mother, Kathy May, was once ranked as high as No. 10 in the world, having reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open (1978) and French Open (1977-78). (Her first husband, Brian Teacher, won the 1980 Aussie Open.) Taylor's dad, Guy Fritz, was also a pro, albeit less successful than Mom.