There’s a new kid on the block who has made a name for himself and it is none other than American tennis player Taylor Fritz. The 20th seed showed the world exactly what he was made of on Monday when he beat Rafael Nadal in the final of the 2022 Indian Wells. The Spaniard, who has been a perennial winner in the competition, was beaten in straight sets by the young American. The scoreline at the end of the match read 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) in Fritz’s favour. The 24-year-old was overcome with emotion at the end of the game and it was pretty evident that he viewed the victory as the biggest of his career so far.
“We did a lot of work leading up to the match and I went through a roller coaster of emotions before the match, from thinking there was no way I could possibly play to then doing all this work on the ankle, doing so much stuff to it…. I came out here and it didn’t really affect me at all,” Fritz said after the match.
Fritz scored one ace while Nadal scored a couple and the two committed the same number of double faults, three. Nadal’s win percentage on the first serve (56%) was lower than his opponent’s (69%). However, on the second serve, the Spaniard came out stronger with a win percentage of 61% as Fritz could only manage 54%.
One thing that worked out pretty well for the 24-year-old was his conversion of break points, making the most of four out of his available nine. Nadal, on the other hand, could only manage to convert two out of his available 10. That is something quite uncharacteristic from the Spanish tennis legend. Things were pretty tight when it came to service games as well as Fritz won eight and Nadal won seven.
His success at Indian Wells means that Fritz is only the second American to win the competition after the great Andre Agassi in 2001. He is also the youngest to have won the tournament since Novak Djokovic in 2011.
“I’m going to have to hold back tears for every single interview I do, every single on-court speech,” Fritz added. “This is going to be tough because I’m such a happy crier. Winning this tournament especially, Indian Wells, this is one of those childhood dreams that you just never think can come true. I just keep saying, ‘No, no. Just no way it’s real.’ “