The best start to the season of Rafa Nadal’s career (20-0) came to an end this Sunday in Indian Wells. At 35 years old, close to 36, the effort he made to beat his successor, Carlos Alcaraz, in the semifinals on Saturday (6-4, 4-6 and 6-3 in three hours and 12 minutes), It took its toll on him in the final against Taylor Fritz. The 24-year-old American and 24th in the world, who was in doubt due to discomfort in his right ankle, won by 6-3 and 7-6 (5) in 2h06 and prevented the Spaniard from equaling Djokovic’s 37 Masters 1,000 titles and winning the 92nd in total of his career. Nadal had won his last 11 finals, since May 2019.
Triumphant Taylor! 👏
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) March 21, 2022
Thanks to the biggest victory of his life, Fritz, who has achieved many achievements in this tournamentput the icing on the cake with the champion trophy, the second he wins in the ATP. He is the first tennis player from his country to lift it since Agassi in 2001the youngest winner of the BNP Paribas Open since Djokovic (23) in 2011 and the youngest American to triumph there since Chang (24) in 1996.
✅Youngest to win men’s singles title since Djokovic (2011)
✅Youngest American to win men’s singles title since Chang (1996)
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 21, 2022
What happened in the first set was totally unexpected, because normally Fritz’s mobility would have been reduced and whoever had problemsto execute the strokes with the necessary placement and power, especially on the backhand, It was Nadal because of those discomforts in his ribs that already affected him in the match against Alcaraz. The American achieved something unheard of against the Spaniard, adding two inning breaks to place a 4-0 on the scoreboard almost impossible to overcome. Rafa did not look happy at all and his rival put one winner after another. Despite a mistake in which he lost his serve, he went ahead without major complications thanks to a third break.
Fight until the end
Nadal requested the intervention of the championship physio and returned to the track with a bad face, moving his left shoulder with concern. He tried to find solutions to enter the game while the medication took effect. That’s how his first “come on” and his first break came. Unfortunately she could not consolidate it. It was time to fight twice, against a rival in a state of grace and against pain. The fact is that based on his hand and taking Fritz to the net, where he is weakest, he created chances to take advantage again, but he lacked strength (hence his 34 unforced errors). He resisted as long as he could after receiving physical therapy again. He saved one match point and went 5-4 with two aces in the final tiebreak. The integrity with which he competed was that of the greatest and if his injury is not serious, he will return for the umpteenth time. Do not hesitate.
Indian Wells Masters 1,000 results.