Nadal cites respiratory problems in ‘ugly’ loss – RT Sport News

The Spaniard was beaten in the Indian Wells Masters final by American underdog Taylor Fritz

Rafael Nadal said he was struggling to breathe as his unbeaten start to 2022 ended in a shock loss to American Taylor Fritz in the Indian Wells Masters final.

Nadal had won all 20 of his matches in a remarkable run to start the year, but that streak ended in California as Fritz beat the veteran Spaniard in straight sets, 6-3 7-6 (7-5), to earn a first Master 1000 Title.

“I was in pain, honestly. I had breathing problems,” said a dejected Nadal after the defeat. “I don’t know if it’s something on the coast, I don’t know yet. When I breathe, when I move, it’s like a needle all the time inside here. I’m a little dizzy because it’s painful.

“It’s a kind of pain that limits me a lot. It’s not just about the pain, I don’t feel so good ’cause [it] affects my breathing.

After returning from a lingering foot injury that forced him out for four months at the end of last year, Nadal had started the 2022 season in sensational form, continuing a run that included winning the Australian Open as arch-rival Novak Djokovic was sidelined. due to his unvaccinated status.

But against Fritz on Sunday, Nadal looked in bad shape as he racked up 34 unforced errors throughout the competition, leaving the court for treatment at 4-0 in the opening set.

“[It is] more … than [being] sad for the loss, [that is] something I accepted immediately, and even before the end of the game. It’s more than I suffer a little, honestly, “ Nadal said.

“I did my best. Of course, [it has] not been my day. But it happens. I have experience in all of these situations. So in the moment, of course, it’s difficult to play a final like this. [I] tried to the end. That’s it.”

Nadal found time to praise Fritz, a former junior world number one who became the first American to win the Indian Wells title since Andre Agassi in 2001.

“Although it’s obvious that I couldn’t do normal things today… That’s it. It’s a final. I tried. I lost against a great player. Nadal said.

Nadal’s stellar start to 2022 saw him claim a record 21st Grand Slam crown and ATP titles in Melbourne and Mexico, with the Spanish icon rising to world number three in the new ATP rankings on Monday.

Daniil Medvedev’s three-week reign comes to an end as Novak Djokovic retook top spot, following the Russian’s third-round exit at Indian Wells.

However, a run to the Miami Open semi-finals, which begins on Monday, would see Medvedev return to the top.

Djokovic was forced to skip Indian Wells and Miami this month due to travel restrictions and his unvaccinated status, but is expected to return to the Monte Carlo Masters in April and has been boosted by the news he will likely be able to play at the French Open.

Nadal’s attentions will turn to the clay-court season, where he will be tipped to contest a record 14th French Open title when the French Open showpiece kicks off in May, although he admitted his struggles against Fritz left him feeling “sad.”

“Honestly, I wanted it to be perfect before clay. [It] was very, very, very beautiful. Honestly I’m sad because how I couldn’t compete. It’s hard to have these feelings… But in the end it’s very, very ugly. Nadal said.

“It’s time to try to solve this problem as soon as possible, try to start on clay. Practice starts another part of the season that I love to play. Of course, every event is so special for me I hope to be ready for that.

Fritz, born in San Diego, was jubilant to win the biggest crown of his career as he launched into the top 10.

“It’s really like a childhood dream come true, like a crazy dream that you never expect to come true. It really hasn’t even sunk. said the 24-year-old, who had feared an ankle injury during his warm-up might even force him out of the final.

“A lot of my team wanted me not to play the game. I will never let them forget that because I went out on the pitch and it was no problem at all, I didn’t feel it at all. everything, it didn’t bother me at all. added the American, who will move up to 13th in the world and reclaim his place as his country’s top male star.


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