PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal loses to Taylor Fritz in ATP Finals opener

22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal suffered a disappointing start to his ATP Finals campaign as he was defeated by American Taylor Fritz 7-6(3), 6-1 in Turin. 

Rafa grabbed a 6-5 lead in the opening set when he held to love for a fifth time but then lost the opening three points of the tiebreaker and could not find his way back.

After neither player dropped serve in the first set, Fritz broke early in the second for a 3-1 lead and again to pull ahead 5-1 before closing out the match on his next service game when Rafa sent a forehand long.

It was Rafa’s third-successive loss after crashing out in the US Open fourth round and losing his opening match at the recent Paris Masters, where he also went away 6-1 in the final set to Tommy Paul.

“I need more matches to play at this kind of level, even if I am practising well, much better than how I am competing, without a doubt. That’s normal,” Rafa told reporters.

“At the end is not the ideal tournament and probably part of the season to come back after a couple of months without being on the tour because you don’t have time to get confidence.”

Our champ will next face Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, who lost in straight sets to Norwegian Casper Ruud earlier today.

Source: Reuters


  1. As Rafa himself said 2 weeks ago, he suffered a further tear of his original site.
    So perhaps he should not play and wait for total healing. But from the little I know and have read, this type of tear takes a very long time to heal.
    I have a feeling that because of his competitive nature he does not want to wait. I wish his doctors would communicate to him that he should wait. It is obvious that his injury is costing him winning the matches.
    Really miss him but prefer to see a healed Rafa.

  2. The margin of the loss of the second set surprised me. Ironically, it wasn’t Rafa’s serve that was the main problem. His first serves in was at 74%, winning 73% of them. It was the errors on his ground strokes, along with Frtiz’s hard hitting and strong serving that sealed Rafa’s fate.
    If Rafa had won the first set we might have seen a different outcome, but Fritz edging it only filled him with confidence to swing freely.
    With two players in the group winning in straight sets, Rafa has to win both his remaining matches to stand any chance of going to the semis. A very tall order, but hey, tennis is a funny game and you never know!

  3. Looking fantastic champ!

    Indoors has never been for Rafa, so I had no expectations for this match or the tournament.

    Our champ just needs to enjoy himself and look forward to the next year on tour. And stay healthy!

    • Mac, I don’t agree that Rafa looked fantastic. He was sweating a lot and breathing heavily from the start. So many things conspiring against Rafa: lack of conditioning, the humid indoor conditions at altitude and a hard hitting opponent.

  4. Rafa’s going to have to pull out his old serve again. He’s either healed from the ab tear or not and if he is he needs his old serve back. Amazing blind over the shoulder shot he made tells me our Rafa is still in there. He just needs to break free of his doubt in himself. On to beat FAA. You got this, Rafa. Trust in yourself.

  5. Stop playing Indoors, please Rafa😔

    Rafa looked tired and had no chance to win this match. Sad to say that – especially against a player like Fritz – but this is the truth.

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