Fritz won, Rafael Nadal did not lose. Necessary premise to explain the final 7-6(3) 6-1. The second success of the season for the American against the twenty-two-time Slam champion, who had won the historic quarter-final match on the green clay of Wimbledon in rather precarious physical condition.
Under the roof of Turin the story is also completely different from that of Indian Wells. Fritz plays the match: he serves well, he presses on all the balls, he takes away all points of reference from Nadal and above all he wins all the important points.
Trivially those in the tie break and at the beginning of the second set. “Yes, it was an incredible victory. It was important to start well in the round and I was able to do it,” said Fritz after his debut in the final, “facilitated” by the forced retirement of Carlos Alcaraz.
“Losing would have forced me to win the next two matches without the possibility of error. In this way things are definitely different” The first time, we said, he won on the court given the success in Indian Wells and the quarters at Wimbledon, curiously in both cases with Nadal on the opposite side of the net.
“Having the opportunity to play here is incredible. It is also the best way to end the season after Paris-Bercy. Being here has given me a lot of awareness and winning against a player like Rafa is always incredible.”
The American player’s odds are clearly up, as he shares the top spot in the Green Group with Casper Ruud, Felix Auger Aliassime’s Day 1 executioner. “When I play against the best I know I have to raise the bar a bit and that helps me stay focused.
I know I can’t afford anything other than my best tennis.” Against Nadal, Fritz played the challenge to perfection.
Rafa did not have enough match practice
Rafael Nadal said that “time” was a key factor that affected his match, as he did not have enough match practice between the Paris Masters and the ATP Finals.
“Tennis and the sport in general, it’s about time. I have less time than him to do what I want to do on the ball. I felt that everything was going so fast. When that’s happen, normally you are under stress and you don’t have the time to play the kind of shot that you want.
In most of the points of the match, I was in a defensive position and he was in an offensive position. That’s what happened,” said Nadal. “But every single time I came back from injury, don’t happen that way playing against top players since the first day, you know? That’s what’s happening when you are coming back, playing Masters 1000s and World Tour Finals,” he added.