Taylor Fritz defeated Rafael Nadal 7-6(3), 6-1, to win his first match at the ATP Finals in Turin, while Casper Ruud of Norway opened the round-robin stage earlier on Sunday by defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada.
The top seed from Spain Since losing in the fourth round of the U.S. Open two months ago, Nadal had only played in one singles match. As the match went on, his lack of recent practice became apparent as he struggled to keep up with Fritz.
“Even though I am practicing well—certainly far better than how I am competing—I need more matches to compete at this level. That’s typical,” Nadal told the media. (Also read: Instead Of Ravichandran Ashwin, I Would Have Chosen Yuzvendra Chahal Or Ravi Bishnoi, Farokh Engineer)
Taylor ON TOP 🔥
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 13, 2022
“At the end is not the ideal tournament and probably a time during the season to return after a few months off the tour because you don’t have time to build confidence.”
When he held to love for the fifth time in the first set, Nadal took a 6-5 lead. However, he dropped the first three points of the tiebreaker and was unable to recover. (Also read: “After Scoring A 100…”: Ex-Captain On Why He Selected Virat Kohli For Team India In 2008)
As neither player broke serve in the opening set, Fritz broke early in the second to go up 3-1, then again to go up 5-1. Fritz then finished the match on his next service game when Nadal hit a long forehand.