Taylor Fritz enjoyed a great run at Wimbledon, beating four rivals and pushing the 22-time Major winner to the limits. After four hours and 20 minutes, Taylor fell to Rafael Nadal 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 in the quarter-final after a tremendous battle.
The American gave his best to stay in touch in the decider, only to lose in the match tie break and end his campaign. Nadal struggled with an abdominal injury and still managed to find a way after a titanic battle. Fritz left the court heartbroken, giving his everything and missing a massive chance to reach the Wimbledon semi-final.
Rafa struggled with his initial shot, and things did not look good after the third set. His sister Maribel and father Sebastian were suggesting Rafa to quit, but he decided to stay on the court until the end and fight. Both players won 168 points and stayed neck and neck until the deciding match tie break.
They had the same number of winners and break chances, and the encounter on Centre Court took everything from both. Rafa broke early in the opener and served well for 3-1. Taylor pulled the break back with a forehand down the line winner in game six and grabbed another after Rafa's double fault in game eight.
Fritz wrapped up the opener at 5-3 after rattling off five straight games. Rafa opened a 3-0 lead in the second set, and Taylor erased the deficit to bring the result back to 3-3. Fritz got broken while serving to stay in the set at 5-6 after Nadal's volley winner at the net.
The American played well in the third set, keeping his serve safe and sending the pressure to the other side. He broke Rafa in games three and nine and built a massive advantage after two hours and ten minutes. Nadal spoke with the doctor and decided to continue and at least try to finish the duel without retiring.
They traded three breaks at the start of the set, and Rafa grabbed two to open a 2-1 gap. Nadal found himself 4-2 ahead after a comfortable hold before Fritz broke in game eight and locked the result at 4-4.
Rafael Nadal prevailed over Taylor Fritz in the Wimbledon epic.
The Spaniard stayed calm and forced the rival's mistake in the 11th game to move 6-5 ahead and serve for the set.
In the next one, Nadal held at love with a forehand winner to secure the set and force a decider after over three hours. Both players served well at the start of the fifth set before Rafa converted the fourth break chance with a drop shot winner for 4-3.
Taylor pulled the break back already in game eight and moved 5-4 up with a backhand crosscourt winner. Rafa served to stay in the match and landed a perfect volley winner at the net for 5-5. Fritz grabbed the 11th game with an ace down the T line, and Nadal held at love with a service winner a few minutes later to introduce the match tie break.
Rafa moved 3-0 up with a forced error before Taylor reduced the deficit to 5-3. Nadal gained a 6-3 lead after a loose backhand from his rival and grabbed the next point after an extended rally and a volley winner. A forehand down the line winner at 8-3 offered Nadal six match points, and he seized the second with a forehand winner to emerge at the top and move into the semis.
"It's tough right now to look at the bright side of things because I wanted this one," Taylor Fritz said.