Tennis coach and analyst Paul Annacone has revealed that he and the rest of Taylor Fritz's team advised the American to walkover Rafael Nadal in the Indian Wells final. Fritz was hampered by an ankle injury, as three hours before the start of the match he headed to the practice court to hit some shots.
Journalists at the scene reported that Fritz left the training arena after a few minutes, as his ankle was clearly causing him discomfort. Some feared the worst, but finally Fritz made the decision to play. Not only did Fritz get to play in the final, but he ended up stunning Nadal 6-3 7-6(5) for his first Masters title.
"The three members of his team, me, Mike Russell and [fitness trainer] Wolfgang Oswald told him: 'Don't play this game' He said, 'I'm going to play. I can do it. I want to go out on court with Rafa and see if I can top him,'" Annacone said on Tennis Channel.
Fritz fought back tears during the on-court trophy ceremony as winning his first Masters title after beating Rafael Nadal seemed utterly surreal. Nadal reached the final with a 20-0 record in 2022, but Fritz was not interested in letting the Spaniard win his fourth Indian Wells title of the year.
"I can't even begin to describe how ridiculous it is that I was able to play the way I was able to play today," Fritz said after his victory."
Monica Seles on Rafa Nadal
In a recent interview with Richard Osborn on the sidelines of the 2022 BNP Paribas Open, former World No.
1 Monica Seles revealed that Rafael Nadal is the player she relates to the most. "I truly believe we’re such individuals," Seles said. "In terms of my playing style, it was so unique, with two hands on both sides, a lefty, I mean, just totally unorthodox.
But in terms of being competitive and just looking at one ball at a time. I’d probably have to say Nadal, because we both have that mindset that when we step on the court, we don’t pay attention to what’s happening off the court.
When I watch him, I’m like, “Oh, boy, I was like that!”," she continued. "Any version you are, as long as you’re staying true to yourself and you put the absolute maximum effort out there when you step on the court, and you compete hard and fair, if I was coaching somebody, that’s all I could ask."