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Taylor Fritz hands Rafael Nadal first 2022 defeat to lift Indian Wells trophy | Tennis News


INDIAN WELLS: Taylor Fritz surprised Rafael Nadal 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) on Sunday to win the ATP Indian Wells Masters and finish the 21-time Grand Slam champion’s excellent 20-0 run to begin 2022.
Fritz, ranked twentieth on this planet, claimed his second profession title and his first on the elite Masters 1000 degree whereas denying Nadal a record-equalling thirty seventh Masters crown.
The 24-year-old American achieved his largest triumph regardless of an injured proper ankle that was so painful when he examined it Sunday morning he did not suppose he’d have the ability to play.

“This is just one of those childhood dreams, winning this tournament especially, Indian Wells, this is one of those childhood dreams you never even think can come true,” the Southern California native stated, combating again tears.
“It was just an emotional roller coaster all day,” stated Fritz, who spent hours main up to the match receiving remedy to numb his ankle after “basically almost crying because I thought I was going to have to pull out.
“It was a game-time choice,” Fritz said. “A variety of members of my crew needed me to not play the match. I’m by no means going to allow them to neglect that as a result of I went on the court docket and it was a whole non-issue, did not really feel it in any respect, did not hinder me in any respect.”
The 35-year-old Nadal, meanwhile, was pushing himself through pain, twice receiving treatment on his upper body for a yet-to-be diagnosed problem that not only hurt but also affected his breathing.
“I do not know if it is one thing on the rib, I do not know but,” Nadal said. “It’s a sort of ache that restrict me loads.”

Nadal had already said he would skip next week’s Miami Masters to give his body a rest and prepare for the claycourt season.
After fearing a foot injury that halted his 2021 campaign might end his career, the Spaniard claimed a record-setting 21st Grand Slam singles title with an epic comeback victory over Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final, then won the title at Acapulco.
Fritz said he was aware that there was “stuff occurring” with Nadal even before the match began.
“I can not think about how banged up somebody’s physique have to be after 20-something straight matches, taking part in as a lot as he has,” Fritz said.
“I did not let it change how I used to be going to play in any respect. I handled it like I used to be taking part in the Rafa that I do know, that everyone is aware of.”

Battling to the end, Nadal saved one match point in the 10th game of the second set, but in a tense tiebreaker that decided it all Fritz proved too much.
After Nadal spun a forehand wide to give up another match point, Fritz put it away with yet another of his big forehand winners.
Fritz’s fitness concerns were at the forefront when the American fell on the very first point of the match.
But he seized a 4-0 lead in the opening set in just 19 minutes.
Nadal, coming off a draining three-set semi-final victory over 18-year-old compatriot Carlos Alcaraz, appeared to have found his range when he held at love to make it 4-1.

But he was unable to make any inroads on Fritz’s serve until the American served for the set at 5-2 and Nadal converted his only break chance of the set when Fritz sent a forehand long.
However, Nadal was unable to build any momentum, immediately surrendering the break and the set after 39 minutes.
Nadal took a medical timeout between sets and gained the first break of the second set for a 2-1 lead.
Fritz opened the door for him with a double fault, came up with a big serve then fell to a forehand winner on the Spaniard’s second break chance.

But the American broke back immediately and saved four break points in the next game and they went with serve to the tiebreaker, Fritz finally sealing it on his first match point with a forehand winner to the corner.
“I simply stored telling myself there is not any motive why I can not win this,” said Fritz, who became the first American men’s champion at Indian Wells since Andre Agassi in 2001 and the youngest Indian Wells men’s winner since Novak Djokovic in 2011.

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