Taylor Fritz explains how injured Rafael Nadal beat him at Wimbledon


Taylor Fritz has explained how Rafael Nadal managed to beat him at Wimbledon despite dealing with an abdominal injury.

Early in the match, Nadal started experiencing abdominal issues and it was clear that he was in pain and discomfort.

Still, Nadal was able to finish the match and beat Fritz 3-6 7-5 3-6 7-5 7-6 (4). 

“I felt like from the ground, forehand, backhand, movements, he was normal. Maybe for a couple of games it seemed like different, but in the fourth and the fifth set he was getting the balls back that a lot of people normally wouldn’t. The biggest difference with the injury was the serve. He started to serve maybe ten miles per hour slower, but I actually felt I was returning the serve better when he was serving it harder, because it was coming at me more and I had more pace to work with,” Fritz told CLAY. 

Fritz: Nadal played smartly

After the match was over, Nadal had an MRI which showed a seven-millimeter abdominal tear.

Nadal’s Wimbledon run was over as he was forced to give Nick Kyrgios a walkover in their semifinal match.

After Nadal revealed the extent of his injury, Fritz started receiving criticism for “not finding a way to beat an injured Nadal.”

Now, Fritz has provided a detail explanation for why Nadal was able to still be effective and in the end beat him.

“People don’t know tennis as we know tennis. They thought you know, Rafa slicing all of his backhands, they think that’s because he had bad abs. Any match Rafa he has played against me, he slices his backhands. It is his strategy, it’s smart. He doesn’t want to hit over a backhand and then I have a shoulder high forehand than I can hit. He always slices against me to give me nothing to work with. I saw a million people like: ‘Oh, he couldn’t hit backhands and you lost to him’. No, like, that’s how he plays me and the only difference in the game was his serve and that actually made it tougher for me,” Fritz explained.

Had Fritz defeated Nadal, he would have reached his first Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon.

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