General Taylor Harry
United States of America
San Diego, Calif., United States of America



Taylor Fritz’s parents: All about their tennis careers

By Chege Karomo

Taylor Fritz finally matched his mother, Kathy May, by reaching the quarter-final of a Grand Slam tournament. Kathy reached three Grand Slam quarter-finals – two at Roland Garros and one at the U.S. Open – during her peak playing days in the late 70s. After defeating Jason Kuler to reach the quarter-finals [at Wimbledon in 2022], Taylor said: “My first grand slam quarter-final, that’s really a big deal. Part of the final eight and I’m glad I could get the win on the Fourth of July, being American.”

Fritz will need all his skills to get to the semis: he faces Spanish maestro Rafael Nadal. The American knows what it takes to beat Nadal, having triumphed over the Spaniard earlier in the year to claim the Indian Wells Masters title. Taylor Fritz was born on 28th October 1997 to Guy Henry Fritz and Kathy May in Rancho Santa Fe, California. Guy and Kathy played professional tennis, with Kathy breaking into the top 10 in the late 1970s and Guy finding success as a coach.

Kathy May came from a wealthy Jewish family. May’s father, the late David May II, inherited the May Company Department Stores Co. (now Macy’s) and was a notable figure in the L.A. Jewish community. May’s maternal step-grandfather Mervyn LeRoy was a famous film director who produced The Wizard of Oz. Davin and LeRoy were Jewish, but Kathy May was raised in the Protestant faith.

Kathy achieved fame through tennis, winning her first WTA title in September 1973. She won her seventh and last singles title in September 1976, in three sets, over Brigitte Cuypers of South Africa. In 1977 and 1978, she reached the quarter-finals of the French Open; in 1978, she exited the U.S. Open at the quarter-final stage. Kathy May broke into the top 10 in 1977, achieving a career-high ranking of world no. 10.

Taylor Fritz first picked up the tennis racket when he was two years old. Fritz also played baseball, basketball, and soccer, which, according to Kathy, benefited his career years later. She told ATP Tour: “He loved all sports. When he was little actually, tennis was not his favourite. For him, it was great because he didn’t love tennis so much. I think if he would have just played tennis he wouldn’t have enjoyed it now.”

Guy did most of the tennis coaching, but both parents contributed when making important decisions and guiding Taylor’s professional path. Fritz told the ATP Tour website that his parents’ guidance played a significant role in his development: “It was nice to have two parents that could help make important decisions about what tournaments to play, what tournaments not to play, what time I should spend practicing, how many weeks I should be practicing, what I should be doing of the court, keeping myself healthy, coaches I should see, and just a lot of important decisions.”

By the time Taylor was 17, he was the top-ranked junior player worldwide. Guy told The Los Angeles Times he expected Taylor to reach the upper echelons of global tennis but didn’t expect him to rank first. “When he was 12 and playing in tournaments, I knew he was good, really special, but not so good that he’d be No. 1 in the world juniors.” Kathy added: “I remember when he was 8, how focused he was. He knew the score, always had his head in the game. Unusual for an 8-year-old.”

In 2015, Fritz had two choices: go professional or spend one year in college as his father wanted. Spending one year in the USC gym would help him get stronger, preparing him for the demands of professional tennis. Guy told the Los Angeles Times that if Taylor won the Wimbledon juniors, there would be no stopping him from going pro. Fritz didn’t win at Wimbledon, losing to eventual champion Reilly Opelka in the semi-finals, but he still went professional.

Taylor soon proved to his parents that it was the right choice. “My thinking was, he’s gonna get the best competition out here on the road and he can still develop his strength,” Kathy said. “He didn’t really wanna go to college and he was eager and he kinda made that decision. He [Taylor] is very mentally strong. He hates to lose in anything even since he was a young boy.”

Taylor’s competitiveness was on full display when, at age 12, he teamed up with his mother to compete in a local mother-son event. Fritz told the ATP Tour website that Kathy was the best mom at the event: “One of the biggest mother-son tournaments in the country just happened to be in San Diego where I live. So, it was easy, we would just play it. My mom was a former Top 10 player and she still played a lot, so she was, for sure, the best mom in the competition.”

Taylor told the outlet that he was probably the weak link in the team, making him a target for opponents. Nevertheless, the pair made it to the quarter-finals, where disaster struck: Kathy suffered a calf injury. May couldn’t play, but Taylor wanted to win so badly that he forced her to keep going. Taylor continued: “We got third place in the tournament, but it was just funny because I made her keep playing when she really couldn’t walk. Now, looking back at it, it is just a mother-son at the local club near my house so it was not that big of a deal. But, back then, it was all that mattered.”

Over a decade later, Taylor’s turn to play through injury arrived. Fritz tweaked his ankle during his semi-final win against Andrey Rublev in the semi-finals of the Indian Wells Masters. Fritz thought he could sleep off the injury as he’d done many times before; when he got to the practice court, however, Taylor learned that the injury was far worse than he’d expected. A doctor advised him not to play the final against Nadal, but Fritz decided to compete.

Taylor took two injections to numb the pain before defeating Nadal in two sets. In doing so, he fulfilled Guy’s prophecy that Taylor would win at Indian Wells. Taylor told CNN: “I do remember my dad taking me on a stadium tour and pointing down the stadium court and saying, ‘One day, you are going to win this tournament.’ It’s insane that [it] actually happened.”

Kathy May married fellow Californian Brian Teacher in 1979. May informed him she wanted a divorce as Teacher prepared for the Australian Open. An excerpt from Sandra Harwitt’s book The Greatest Jewish Tennis Players of All Time reads: “I called home and I said, ‘I just lost and I had match point,’ and the first thing out of Kathy’s mouth was she wanted a divorce. I said, ‘What?’ That’s like crazy and we had just been talking about moving and starting a family.”

Teacher was playing the best tennis of his career, but he forfeited his place in the Australian Open to return to California. Before leaving for the airport, Kathy’s father called Brian and advised him to head to Hawaii for a holiday instead of returning home. “I didn’t think I’d have a good time in Hawaii, so I might as well just stay and try to play this tournament,” Brian said. After another player pulled out, Brian retook his place in the Australian Open. Despite receiving news of his impending divorce, Brian played beautifully, winning the 1980 Australian Open.

May and Teacher eventually divorced. Brian went on to have a happier second marriage, but May wasn’t as lucky. She welcomed two sons – Chris and Kyle – with fireman Donn Paben, but that marriage also dissolved. It was third time lucky for Kathy: she’s still married to her third husband, Guy Fritz.


Archive statistics 2015 - 2024

Tournament wins 2024 - Delray Beach (ATP)
2023 - Delray Beach (ATP)
2023 - Atlanta (ATP World Tour 250 series)
2022 - Indian Wells (ATP)
2022 - Eastbourne (ATP)
2022 - Japan Open (Open)
2019 - Eastbourne (ATP)

Tournaments Australian Open - 2024 Monte Carlo - 2024 Roland Garros - 2024 Italian International Championships - 2024 Bavarian International Championships - 2024 Delray Beach - 2024 Abierto Mexicano - 2024 Indian Wells - 2024 Miami Open - 2024 Madrid Open - 2024 Geneva Open - 2024 Australian Open - 2023 Wimbledon - 2023 Monte Carlo - 2023 Roland Garros - 2023 US Open - 2023 Canadian International Championships - 2023 Cincinnati - 2023 Queens Club Tournament - 2023 Italian International Championships - 2023 Japan Open - 2023 Shanghai - 2023 Swiss International Covered Courts - 2023 Paris Masters - 2023 Bavarian International Championships - 2023 Delray Beach - 2023 Abierto Mexicano - 2023 Indian Wells - 2023 Miami Open - 2023 Madrid Open - 2023 Eastbourne - 2023 Championships of Stuttgart - 2023 Atlanta - 2023 Dallas Open - 2023 Washington Open - 2023 Geneva Open - 2023 Australian Open - 2022 Wimbledon - 2022 Monte Carlo - 2022 Roland Garros - 2022 US Open - 2022 Canadian International Championships - 2022 Cincinnati - 2022 US Clay Courts - 2022 Queens Club Tournament - 2022 Japan Open - 2022 Austria Open - 2022 Paris Masters - 2022 ATP World Tour Finals - 2022 Abierto Mexicano - 2022 Indian Wells - 2022 Miami Open - 2022 Eastbourne - 2022 Rosmalen - 2022 Dallas Open - 2022 Washington Open - 2022 Australian Open - 2021 Wimbledon - 2021 Monte Carlo - 2021 Roland Garros - 2021 US Open - 2021 Canadian International Championships - 2021 Cincinnati - 2021 Italian International Championships - 2021 St. Petersburg Open - 2021 Paris Masters - 2021 Qatar Open - 2021 Dubai - 2021 Indian Wells - 2021 Miami Open - 2021 Madrid Open - 2021 Atlanta - 2021 Washington Open - 2021 Abierto Mexicano Mifel - 2021 Stockholm Open - 2021 Sardegna Open - 2021 Murray River Open - 2021 San Diego Open - 2021 Australian Open - 2020 Roland Garros - 2020 US Open - 2020 Cincinnati - 2020 Italian International Championships - 2020 German International Championships - 2020 St. Petersburg Open - 2020 Austria Open - 2020 Paris Masters - 2020 Delray Beach - 2020 Abierto Mexicano - 2020 European Open - 2020 Adelaide International - 2020 Australian Open - 2019 Wimbledon - 2019 Monte Carlo - 2019 Roland Garros - 2019 US Open - 2019 Canadian International Championships - 2019 Cincinnati - 2019 US Clay Courts - 2019 Italian International Championships - 2019 Conde de Godo - 2019 Japan Open - 2019 Shanghai - 2019 Swiss International Covered Courts - 2019 Paris Masters - 2019 Brisbane International - 2019 Auckland - 2019 Delray Beach - 2019 Indian Wells - 2019 Miami Open - 2019 Estoril Open - 2019 Madrid Open - 2019 Halle - 2019 Eastbourne - 2019 Rosmalen - 2019 Atlanta - 2019 Abierto Mexicano Mifel - 2019 Chengdu Open - 2019 Lyon Open - 2019 Stockholm Open - 2019 Wimbledon - 2018 Roland Garros - 2018 US Open - 2018 US Clay Courts - 2018 Japan Open - 2018 Shanghai - 2018 Swiss International Covered Courts - 2018 Delray Beach - 2018 Indian Wells - 2018 Miami Open - 2018 Eastbourne - 2018 Championships of Stuttgart - 2018 Atlanta - 2018 Winston Salem - 2018 Abierto Mexicano Mifel - 2018 Chengdu Open - 2018 Lyon Open - 2018 Stockholm Open - 2018 Australian Open - 2017 Wimbledon - 2017 US Open - 2017 Memphis Indoor - 2017 Delray Beach - 2017 Abierto Mexicano - 2017 Indian Wells - 2017 Miami Open - 2017 Hall of Fame Championships - 2017 Atlanta - 2017 Winston Salem - 2017 Abierto Mexicano Mifel - 2017 Chengdu Open - 2017 Australian Open - 2016 Wimbledon - 2016 Roland Garros - 2016 US Open - 2016 Canadian International Championships - 2016 Cincinnati - 2016 Japan Open - 2016 Shanghai - 2016 Swiss International Covered Courts - 2016 Memphis Indoor - 2016 Delray Beach - 2016 Abierto Mexicano - 2016 Indian Wells - 2016 Miami Open - 2016 Open de Nice Côte d'Azur - 2016 Halle - 2016 Championships of Stuttgart - 2016 Atlanta - 2016 Winston Salem - 2016 Nottingham Open - 2016 European Open - 2016 Nottingham Open - 2015

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