It’s safe to say that the majority of people tuning in to the U.S. Open each year will watch the matches for the players. Then again, it’s always a fun couple of weeks for anyone who likes to spot celebrities in the crowd too. So what happens when you become known for attending tennis matches rather than playing them? Ask Morgan Riddle, model, influencer and girlfriend of tennis pro Taylor Fritz (who recently made it all the way to the quarterfinals at the 2023 U.S Open).
Since Riddle met Fritz on the dating app Raya in 2020, she’s been traveling with him for more than half the year, cheering him on in the crowds while she creates content of her own for YouTube and TikTok, where she has nearly 400,000 followers. She’s become a stadium fixture, with fans tuning in to see what she’ll wear (her “OOTD” and “Get Ready With Me” videos are some of her most popular) to each match and what shenanigans she and the other WAGS (wives and girlfriends of professional athletes) will get into in between the tournaments.
This year, between attending Fritz’s matches at the U.S. Open in the Grey Goose box where she estimates to have had at least 20 Honey Deuces (the official U.S. Open cocktail), and fittings for New York Fashion Week, Riddle told the Cut all about her on-the-road lifestyle.
The New York Times called you “the most famous woman in men’s tennis.” How did you feel about that?
I was super excited. I mean, it’s like, it’s crazy. I would say that’s definitely the biggest thing that’s happened in my career thus far. I didn’t think that I would ever be in that situation, so it’s really cool to see. The writer was so great and I love the way that she portrayed me.
You travel with Taylor to see him play for about 35 weeks out of the year. What are your must-haves that you bring to every match?
Yes, I always bring my Canon G7X to vlog for YouTube. I bring my Fenty powder because, like yesterday it was so hot, I was dripping sweat, shiny. I usually bring my lip gloss. And beef sticks, since I get hungry!
You work in the fashion space, too. When you go to a match do you prefer to dress for style or comfort?
I usually have to figure out the perfect balance in between. Like I said, yesterday was super hot, just unbearably hot. So my friend was helping me pick out an outfit and I was like, we absolutely need to find something that is sweat proof because if I wear anything that will show any drop of sweat, it’s gonna be really bad. So we just went with this black minidress. I would say I’m pretty consistently overdressed for matches, which I’m completely fine with and I know people have all sorts of opinions about, but it’s kind of my Super Bowl, so it’s more fun for me to dress up for it. I usually go for style over comfort. I’m bringing outfit changes to matches.
You’ve talked about meeting Taylor on Raya in 2020. What’s your best tip for dating-app etiquette?
I think Taylor was only the second guy that I’d ever met on the app. And to be honest, I usually tell my friends, just don’t show interest in them and they’ll chase after you just because they’re men and that’s what they’re like. I was kind of indifferent towards him at first and I think that made him a little more interested. I guess people always want that they can’t have! I would say don’t talk too long in the app. Like, I wouldn’t go back-and-forth with him, I was just kind of waiting for him to actually ask to hang out in person.
Do you play tennis?
I’m trying! I was a theater and speech and debate kid when I was in high school so I am not athletic in any way and my coordination is pretty awful. But I’ve done some lessons. Taylor is trying to teach me a little bit — that usually ends up in a fight. [Laughs.] But I would say I enjoy watching the sport more than I enjoy playing it.
What’s your favorite part of the match when you’re watching?
Now, because I’ve been on the tour for three years, I know the game really well. Prior to matches Taylor will tell me, “This is how I’m gonna play the game today. I’m gonna hit to this guy’s backhand because his backhand’s weaker and I’m gonna try to avoid the forehand because he always goes cross-court on the forehand. He does a really deep analysis of how his strategy is gonna be for the match. And now during the match, I get to see him execute that and really understand what’s happening. Whereas probably the first year, I was unsure, I had absolutely no idea what was going on.
I don’t think it’s as fun to watch when you don’t understand the scoring and the points and the strategy behind what the players are doing. Now I can see when he’s playing the match, what his opponent’s strategy is against him, too.
When you’re not traveling for a tournament, do you have any rules or rituals you follow at home to come back to a sense of normalcy?
Not really. I think the normalcy in our life is that there’s no normalcy. When we’re home in L.A. for more than two weeks, I get really restless and kind of bored and I’m like, I don’t have to pack for anything? What? When we go home, he’s a big video-game player, so he’ll play a lot of video games. I’ll try to see my friends in L.A. that I usually don’t get to hang out with much during the year. We watch a lot of anime before bed.
If you were to host a dinner party with anyone in the world, who would you invite?
I would have Margot Robbie because I’m really obsessed with her right now. I would have David Bowie because that’s always been one of my favorite musical artists. I would have Roger Federer. Paris Hilton, because I just read her memoir and I think she is an absolutely fascinating human being. And Princess Diana.
Do you have a signature meal or cocktail that you like to serve when you have people over for a dinner party?
So here’s the thing: I don’t cook. I don’t know if I’ve bought groceries — and I’m not exaggerating — legitimately in a year. It’s not my thing. I order a lot of food so I prefer to attend dinner parties, I would say, but my favorite drink is by far an extra-dirty martini. I’m a big fan of a Grey Goose martini. If I had a dinner party, that’s probably what I would make.
How many Honey Deuces do you think you’ve consumed at the U.S. Open this year?
It depends how well Taylor does and since he made it to the quarterfinals, maybe like 20. I’m not joking! They’re so good. They’re so refreshing when it’s hot.
Do you ever make them at home?
I actually did! My friend Madi and I made them a week before the U.S. Open. She made an Instagram Reel for her page because she does a lot of recipe videos. So we made it with raspberry Poppi instead of the raspberry liqueur. And it was really good.
I’ve seen on your TikTok that you sometimes foster kittens. What’s your No. 1 rule when it comes to having a pet at home?
Give them lots of love! That’s my issue, though — I don’t even know how I could actually own an animal because when we foster, I get so anxious about them and so attached to them, I don’t leave the house. My friends will be like, “Do you wanna come to dinner tonight?” I’m like, “I’m sorry, I’ve got to cuddle with a kitten! I can’t!” And if I leave for like an hour, I’m texting Taylor the whole time: How are the babies?! I’m hoping that’s something we can do again soon.
Do you think holding a seat for someone, like at a tennis match or sporting event, is fair?
Yes, I do. And at the U.S. Open, you pay per assigned seat. So it’s fair!
You mentioned that Taylor explains his strategy to you before playing a match. Do you have any pre-match rituals of your own?
I’m not incredibly superstitious. There are other people on his team that are more superstitious than me. Like his coach’s wife, her name is Lily. She always wears black to match us because she’s super superstitious about it. I was talking about this for a story a couple of weeks ago, there was one tournament he won called Indian Wells, and it was the biggest tournament he’s ever won. I wore his socks during that whole tournament. I’ve thought about doing that again.
What is the best advice that you’ve ever received?
One thing I tell people is, in order to find success, I have to double my rate of failure. That’s something that I struggled with before doing social media professionally, when I was working in corporate up until about a year and a half ago. The biggest difference between doing corporate and doing social media is if I fail in a corporate job, the only person that really sees it or knows about it is maybe my boss, and that, of course, is frustrating, but when you fail on social media, it’s there for everyone to see. I always have to tell myself that little tidbit of advice: You’re gonna fail, people are gonna see it, it’s gonna happen. The other thing I say is, it’s lonely at the top if you don’t send the elevator back down.