Rafael Nadal stops at twenty victories, evidently conditioned by fatigue and also by a physical condition not exactly brilliant one step away from the fourth title of the season, in the final of Indian Wells 2022 lost against the young American Taylor Fritz.
The three-time champion of the tournament, who somehow manages to make the passive acceptable in the first set, loses all the important points during the second set, with an absurd mistake. Fritz, who plays an extraordinarily brave game, becomes the youngest Indian Wells champion since 2011 and the first American to win the tournament since Agassi in 2001.
For Fritz, a native of San Diego, this is obviously the most prestigious success around and a new springboard. For Nadal, who wins the first fifteen in a fairly daring way, the first nineteen are nightmare minutes. Enough to allow Fritz, who constantly manages to keep his feet in the field and push with the forehand, to move rather easily to 4-0, despite the rumors on the eve.
Fritz winning his first Masters 1000 of his career. He is the first American to win here since the time of André Agassi in the distant 2001. In recent times Taylor has had a great growth and is now close to the world Top Ten (from this week he will be number 13 in the world).
For Nadal, who wins the first fifteen in a fairly daring way, the first nineteen are nightmare minutes. Enough to allow Fritz, who constantly manages to keep his feet in the field and push with the forehand, to move rather easily to 4-0, despite the rumors on the eve.
The very Spanish champion manages to move the zero from the game box at 0-4 and to recover two fifteen of disadvantage in the immediately following game with two incredibly effective solutions near the net. Despite recovering from a disadvantage, the three-time champion of the tournament still misses the appointment with the 4-5.
After a stop-physio, willpower turns out to be Nadal's best travel companion. Even if quality and intensity do not travel on the same track. Nadal, forced in some way to make improvements to the tactical plan and to move the game more, misses the 3-1 draw after the second break of the game, but still finds sufficiently valid weapons to stick to the score and above all to make himself constantly dangerous in response.
Fritz cancels four break points at 2-2 and - thanks to the contribution of the twenty-one time Grand Slam champion - is also saved at 4-4. With personality, he takes advantage of a rather trivial mistake by Nadal at 5-5 15-40 and then cancels the seventh break point of the set with the first ace of the game.
In the middle he does not use a match point. Nadal, who is simplistically missing in the most important moments, recovers a mini-break from a disadvantage in the jeu decisif and puts his head on 5-4 thanks to an extraordinary defense.
Called to even the score, he misses a rather comfortable shot with the forehand near the net and loses control of the forehand on the 5-5 out of the service. Fritz, who finds himself on the ropes the chance to obtain the most prestigious victory of his career, does not tremble.