Rafael Nadal bows out to Taylor Fritz

Rafael Nadal has been struggling with the Americans lately. After Tiafoe at the US Open and Paul at the Rolex Paris Mastersthe Majorcan has just suffered a third defeat in a row on the circuit, a first since 2009, and once again against an American. Taylor Fritzreplacing world number one Carlos Alcaraz packagewas not impressed by the event for his first Masters.

He won in two sets (7-6, 6-1) and took the lead of the Green group, ahead of Casper Ruud who fell by Félix Auger-Aliassime earlier in the day (7-6, 6-4) .

The first round, however, did not foreshadow such a scenario in the second act. Despite three break points saved in the first set, Rafael Nadal was almost equal with his evening opponent, especially in terms of service (six aces for Nadal in the first set, seven for Fritz). It was in the tie-break that the Spaniard’s game fell apart, in particular because of the power of his opponent.

The Spaniard had yet offered the point of the match, at 6-5 for him, on a superb short smash crossed backhand back to the net. But on his first double fault of the tie-break entry match, he allowed his American opponent to gain confidence at the best of times.

A decisive game lost 7-3 which extends a very bad series for the Spaniard. Of the last ten tie-breaks disputed by Rafael Nadal at the Masters, the native of Manacor has lost eight, or 20% success. An infamy when you know how high-stakes matches can be played in the decisive game.

28 unforced errors for Nadal far from the account physically

“I need more games to play at this level, although I’m training well, much better than what I’m doing in competition, without a doubt,” the Spaniard said after the encounter. . His second round confirms his words. Physically short, he often seemed behind, overwhelmed by the speed of the box and the blows of his opponent.

“He played very aggressive, hitting every ball. In the end, all the credit goes to him. As I said, it’s a performance that has something normal after the last five months that I’ve spent”, summed up very well the Spaniard who has committed more and more unforced errors over the course of the meeting and above all faster and faster (28 in total against 15 for Fritz). He conceded his serve twice, especially after an interminable game at 4-1 against him.

Rafael Nadal will have to quickly recover if he does not want to leave the Masters from the pool matches. On Tuesday, he will face Felix Auger-Aliassime in a very tense match. Whoever bows would be very close to elimination.

“It’s a match like a normal tournament because the loser will be eliminated from the tournament. I hope to be ready to do better things. He finished the season playing incredibly well and winning
three tournaments in a row (Florence, Antwerp, Basel), playing very well. It’s another big challenge”, assured the winner of Roland-Garros. See you on Tuesday.

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