Indian Wells news: Rafael Nadal's 20-match streak ends as Taylor Fritz claims title

The 24-year-old American won in straight sets in California to upset the odds and end Nadal's personal best 20-game winning streak.

The final almost never took place after Taylor Fritz revealed he was struggling with an ankle injury just hours before the scheduled start.

He suffered the injury during his semi-final win over Andrey Rublev, and then aggrevated it during his warm-up on Sunday.

Thankfully the young American was able to compete, as he enjoyed a career-defining 6-3 7-6 (5) win over 21-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal.

Fritz started aggressively, and was able to force mistakes from the Spaniard as he raced to a 4-0 lead in the opener.

Nadal wasn't able to claw his way back and took a medical timeout inbetween sets.

The break seemed to help the 35-year-old, who put on a much improved performance in the second set.

Nadal was solid from the baseline and was able to piece together impressive rallies, but failed to capitalise on his break points, missing them at 2-2 and then again at 4-4.

He then saved a championship point at 5-4 to set up a climactic tie-break, with neither having lost one throughout the tournament so far.

However, the world No.20 proved too much to handle, and ended up clinching the title with a fierce forehand shot.

The result saw Fritz win his first ever Masters 1000 title, and become the first American men's champion at Indian Wells since Andre Agassi in 2001.

After lifting just his second ever ATP Tour trophy, Fritz was understandly elated with his performance, and stated the win fulfilled a childhood dream.

"I can't even begin to describe how ridiculous it is that I was able to play how I could play today," said Fritz.

"I've never experienced worse pain in my life before a match.

"We did a lot of work leading up to the match and I went through a roller coaster of emotions before the match, from thinking there was no way I could possibly play to then doing all this work on the ankle, doing so much stuff to it.... I came out here and it didn't really affect me at all.

"I'm going to have to hold back tears for every single interview I do, every single on-court speech," Fritz added. "This is going to be tough because I'm such a happy crier.



"Winning this tournament especially, Indian Wells, this is one of those childhood dreams that you just never think can come true. I just keep saying, 'No, no. Just no way it's real.' "

Fritz also handed Nadal his first loss of 2022, after the Spaniard went on a winning run of 20 games - a career best.

As a result, Nadal is expected to rise to world No.3, while Fritz' success in California is projected to see him jump to number 13.

READ MORE: Rafael Nadal survives Carlos Alcaraz scare and strong winds to set up Indian Wells final

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