Taylor Fritz has explained how Rafael Nadal managed to beat him at Wimbledon despite dealing with an abdominal injury. Early in the match, Nadal began to experience abdominal problems and it was evident 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 that from the baseline, forehand, backhand, movements, he was normal. Maybe for a couple of games he seemed different, but in the fourth and fifth sets he was recovering balls that a lot of people normally wouldn't recover.
The biggest difference with the injury was the serve. He started serving maybe 10 mph slower, but I actually felt like I was serving better when he served harder, because he was coming to me more and I had more pace to work with," Fritz told CLAY.
After the match, Nadal underwent an MRI which showed a seven-millimeter abdominal tear. Nadal's Wimbledon career was over when he was forced to give Nick Kyrgios a walkover in their semifinal match. After Nadal revealed the extent of his injury, Fritz began to draw criticism for "not finding a way to beat an injured Nadal." Now, Fritz has given a detailed explanation of why Nadal was able to continue to be effective and ultimately beat him.
"People don't know tennis like we do. They think that the fact that Rafa cuts all his backhands is because he has bad abs. In all the matches that Rafa has played against me, he has played with slice. It's his strategy, he's smart.
He doesn't want to hit on a backhand and so I have a shoulder-high forehand I can hit. He always cuts against me to give me nothing to work with. I saw a million people like, 'Oh, he couldn't backhand and you lost to him.'
Fritz on his training before tournaments
Taylor Fritz has said that the belief about being the best in the world is key to turning pro at a tender age.
"Turning pro at 17, I would say, is every top junior's fear. What I did so well in the juniors, what if I don't make it. I felt like a switch flip as soon as I turned pro, and I was like 'now it's all real' Everything I did before was awesome, but now it's like 'this is ...
this is it' Tennis is basically year round. The season is ten months of the year, pretty much playing every week, so you have to be physically strong for your body to hold up. The everyday training, it varies, based on tournaments coming up, what I'm doing."
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