Taylor Fritz, 25, has admitted he «couldn’t be happier» after ousting Rafael Nadal in his first ATP Finals match. On Sunday, Fritz defeated Nadal 7-6(3) 6-1 in his first Round Robin match in Turin. «He feels great.
I wanted to go out in the first game, especially because of my hopes of getting out of the group, it was going to be very important. I didn’t want to put myself in a position where I needed to win if I wanted to move on. I went out there and played a great match, and I couldn’t be happier,» Fritz said after the victory over Nadal, according to the ATP Finals website.
How did Fritz beat Nadal?
In the first set, no breaks were seen despite Fritz having one break point in the third game and two more break points in the seventh game. Fritz did not convert his break points earlier in the first set, but started the tie break with an early 3-0 lead and had no trouble winning the tie break after taking an early lead.
After the opening two games of the second set, Fritz and Nadal were tied at one game each. Fritz then claimed back-to-back breaks and won five games in a row to complete a straight-set victory in impressive style. After the match, Fritz said that he feels that the conditions in Turin suit his game well.
«The court is definitely fast. For me, fast is good for my serve, it’s good for my backhand. I feel like different speeds always have parts that help my game and parts that hurt it. On a slower court, I have so much more time to charge into a forehand.
On a court like this, I can lean into my backhand and hit a deep cross to Rafa’s forehand, and that makes it a little harder for him to step in and crush it. On a slower surface, he gets time on the forehand when I do a backhand crossover, and he’s probably ready for me.
So I would say that’s where it helps me the most on the field against him,» Fritz explained. Fritz plays Casper Ruud in his second Round Robin match.