One of the only three tennis players to have beaten Rafael Nadal this season, Taylor Fritz could not repeat the dose this Wednesday, in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon. The 24-year-old American gave the Spanish legend a lot of work, but lost 3 sets to 2, after partials of 3/6, 7/5, 3/6, 7/5 and 7/6 ( 10/4), in a 4:20 duel, during which Nadal had to deal with abdominal pain, among other physical problems, and once again showed his great ability to stay focused despite adversity.
“I really enjoy playing this type of match. Thank you all,” said the 36-year-old tennis player while still on the pitch. “It was not easy for me, it’s amazing to reach the semi-finals. My abs were not good, I had to find a way… I even thought that I couldn’t finish the match, but the energy, the atmosphere of this place, it kept me going and led me to victory,” he added.
Nadal’s opponent in the next round will be Nick Kyrgios, who qualified from the quarter-finals by knocking out Chilean Cristian Garín. Facing the Australian, the Spaniard, currently world number 4, will continue his mission to win the four majors of the season. This year, Nadal has already won the Australian Open and his beloved Roland Garros. If he wins in London, only the US Open will remain.
The excellent phase of the veteran was only hampered by three defeats. He lost to Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the third round of the Masters 1000 in Rome and to his compatriot Carlos Alcaraz in the quarterfinals of the Masters 1000 in Madrid. The other executioner was precisely Taylor Fritz, who defeated Nadal in the Indian Wells final, in what was the Spaniard’s first defeat of the season.
Nadal and Fritz played in a very balanced duel in the first six games of this Wednesday, so much so that each won three. Fritz, who had only trailed from the start, took the lead for the first time as he confirmed serve to win game seven. He then broke the Spaniard’s serve for the second time in a row before closing the game at 6-3 on serve.
The second set began with the dominance of Nadal, winner of the first three games. The American responded well and tied the game 3-3, but soon the opponent regained the lead. Then the game had to be stopped as Nadal felt pain, apparently in the abdomen area, and needed treatment. Without major problems, he returned to the grass and won the partial.
Nadal started the third set well, confirming the service, but Fritz also confirmed his, serenely, before imposing a break on the double champion and putting himself in the lead 2-1. 3. The fourth set started with three breaks, two suffered by Fritz and one by Nadal, who managed to confirm the serve in the fourth game to open a difference of two in the marker.
The Spaniard suffered a break later, allowing a 4-4 tie, but he also broke the opponent’s serve three games later. In the end, he made 5/7 to take the decision in the fifth and final set. As balanced as the others, the final partial lasted 4 hours and was decided by tie-break after a 6-6 draw.
The closing minutes featured an overpowered Nadal, who opened 5-0 as he watched the 24-year-old American give himself a bit under pressure. Fritz showed some signs of reaction, but only managed to score three points and succumbed to Rafael Nadal’s greatness.
KYRGIOS ADVANCED Amid CHARGES
Nadal’s opponent on Thursday, Australian Nick Kyrgios reached his first Grand Slam semi-final with a victory secured by 3 sets to 0, with partials of 6/4, 6/3 and 7/6 (7/5) , about the Chilean Cristian. Garin. He is the first Australian player to reach a semi-major since Lleyton Hewitt emerged from the quarter-finals of the US Open and Wimbledon in 2005.
Despite having one of his best moments on the pitch, Kyrgios has seen his sporting performances overshadowed this week. That’s because his ex-girlfriend, model Chiara Passari, accused him of assault. The complaint was filed in December last year, but was only made public last Tuesday when the Australian Capital Territory Court summoned the tennis player to a hearing scheduled for August 2. Kyrgios has not commented on the matter, but his attorney, Jason Moffett, said he “takes the allegation very seriously.”
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