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Nadal totally amicable after Fritz ends his perfect season

Rafa Nadal and Taylor Fritz faced each other injured at their match at Indian Wells, but Fritz overcame the injury, handing Nadal his first loss of 2022.


Taylor Fritz and Rafael Nadal were both dealing with injuries and discomfort when they faced each other in the BNP Paribas Open final. In fact, Fritz almost didn't play at all due to an ankle injury he sustained on Saturday during his semifinal win over Audrey Rubley. He's re-aggravated the injury during his warmup on Sunday.

Fritz overcame injury to beat Rafa Nadal

Fritz played the match, and ended up claiming his first ATP Masters 1000 title with a 6-3, 7-6(5) victory, becoming the first American men's champion at Indian Wells since 2001 (Andre Agassi) and at 24 years old, the youngest men's champion since 2011 (Novak Djokovich).

"I can't even begin to describe how ridiculous it is that I was able to play how I could play today," Fritz said. "I've never experienced worse pain in my life before a match."

On a windy day, Fritz came out strong from the get-go, launching an all-out attack on Nadal,and earning two consecutive breaks to start the game. Fritz's victory ended Nadal's 20-match win streak.

"Winning this tournament especially, Indian Wells, this is one of those childhood dreams that you just never think can come true," said Fritz, holding back tears after the tournament. "I just keep saying, 'No, no. Just no way it's real.' "

Nadal's struggles

Nadal was dealing with pain of his own during the match. He said he was having trouble breathing and feeling dizzy. "I don't know if it's something on the rib," Nadal said. "I don't know yet. When I'm breathing, when I'm moving it's like a needle all the time inside here."

Despite the pain Nadal was dealing with, he attributed this loss to Fritz's performance, and not his own struggles.

"Even if it's obvious that I was not able to do the normal things today... That's it. It's a final. I tried. I lost against a great player," Nadal said.


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