During an interview with the Tennis Channel during the Monte Carlo tournament, Taylor Fritz revealed that his popularity increased after his victory against Rafael Nadal in California. Fritz: "My name is much better known in Europe than before, thanks above all to the victory against Rafael Nadal in Indian Wells.
I am confident and I am expressing great tennis even on clay. My goal is to keep improving, I want become as complete as possible." In a long interview for the ATP website, Casper Ruud paid tribute to Nadal: "He has the ability to play every point as if it were the last in his life.
This characteristic of him emerges even more clearly on the earth. He makes very few gratuitous mistakes, keeps the pace high and doesn't allow his opponents to breathe. Clay is more challenging than other surfaces, as longer rallies are played and match duration increases.
As soon as you shorten it, Rafa puts his feet on the court and kills you. "
Rafael Nadal's season till now
Rafael Nadal’s start to the season left everyone speechless. The Spanish champion had just returned from a long stop due to injury and last year he had played just seven official tournaments.
Arriving in Melbourne amidst a thousand uncertainties, the former world number 1 accomplished one of the most unexpected feats of his entire career. The 35-year-old from Manacor recovered two sets behind Daniil Medvedev in the final, undermining his opponent's certainties just when the Russian seemed one step away from the finish line.
As if that were not enough, the Iberian also won the ATP 250 in Melbourne and the ATP 500 in Acapulco. Rafa won his first 20 games played in 2022, reaching the final on Indian Wells hardcourt. Also due to a fractured rib, Nadal had to surrender to Taylor Fritz one step away from the finish line. The American posted his first Masters 1000 on the showcase, proving that he has made a further leap in quality.