Taylor Fritz makes his ATP Finals debut against Rafael Nadal, winner of 22 Majors in Turin. Taylor had a great start to the season and lifted his first Masters 1000 crown in Indian Wells. The American set his sights on the ATP Finals and earned a spot when world no.
1 Carlos Alcaraz withdrew from the competition. Taylor spoke about his first match against Rafa, calling it a great deal, as always against such a remarkable opponent. Nadal and Fritz met in the Indian Wells final, with Rafa seeking the fourth straight title after a 20-0 start to the season.
Struggling with a fractured rib, Nadal experienced a 6-3, 7-6 loss in two hours and six minutes, with Fritz celebrating his first Masters 1000 crown in front of his home crowd. The Spaniard gave it his all despite playing below his best, missing his chances in the second set and experiencing his first loss of the season.
Two rivals met again in the Wimbledon quarterfinals and made him a crack! Nadal needed four hours and 20 minutes to score a memorable 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 win despite a massive muscle tear in his abdomen. Rafa had problems with his initial shot and things did not look good after the third set.
His sister Maribel and his father Sebastián suggested that he resign, but he decided to stay on the court and fight. The Spaniard took sets four and five to emerge on top and reach the last four. Both players earned 168 points and stood shoulder to shoulder until the deciding tiebreaker of the match.
They had the same amount of winning shots and break chances, and the match took everything from both rivals. The American played well in the third set, keeping his serve safe and putting pressure on the Spaniard.
Rafael Nadal plays Taylor Fritz at the start of the ATP Finals.
He broke Rafa in games three and nine and built a big lead after two hours and ten minutes.
Nadal spoke with the doctor and decided to continue and fight. They traded three breaks early in the fourth set, and Rafa found himself 4-2 ahead after comfortable control in game six. However, Fritz fell back in game eight and closed the result at 4-4 after a forehand gone astray from Rafa.
The Spaniard kept his cool and forced the rival’s error in game 11 for the break and 6-5. Nadal fell in love with a forehand winner in game twelve to clinch the set and force a decider. Rafa converted the fourth break chance with a drop shot winner in game seven for 4-3.
Taylor instantly withdrew the fast break and grabbed the next one with a backhand crosscourt winner. He served Rafa to stay in the match and responded with a perfect volley winner at the net for 5-5. Rafa went 3-0 up in the match tie-break with a forced error before Taylor cut the deficit to 5-3.
Nadal gained a 6-3 lead after a loose backhand from his opponent and took the next point after a lengthy exchange and volley winner. A forehand down the line winner at 8-3 offered Nadal six match points, and he converted the second with a forehand winner to emerge on top.
«Playing against Rafa is a big deal. Our Wimbledon match was very tight. At the beginning of the season, my goal was to become one of the top 10 players this year. The year started well and I wanted to chase a place in Turin. It was became my goal, and I’m excited to be here.
I went on vacation for three days to relax and make my body feel good. Now I’m just training and preparing. I want to win the title, like everyone else in the draw. I want to put on a good performance and go all the way,» said Taylor Fritz.