Rafael Nadal admitted to feeling that everything was “going so fast” versus Taylor Fritz and that left him feeling stressed and unable to play the game or shots he wanted. On Sunday, Nadal suffered a 7-6 (3) 6-1 loss to Fritz.
After the US Open, Nadal returned home and he didn’t play until the Paris Masters, where he was beaten in his opener to Tommy Paul. Going into the ATP Finals, Nadal had a total of one match played during the indoor swing.
Against Fritz, Nadal paid the price for the lack of matches going into the tournament as Fritz was the one who was in charge and dictating points.
Nadal: I didn’t feel that I had time, I was in a defensive position
“It’s about time.
Tennis and the sport in general, it’s about time. I have less time than him to do what I want to do on the ball. I felt that everything was going so fast. When that happens, normally you are under stress, and you don ‘t have the time to play the kind of shot that you want.
In most of the points of the match, I was in a defensive position, and he was in an offensive position. That’s what happened. But every single time I came back from injury, [it’s not normal] playing against top players [from] the first day.
That’s what’s happens when you are coming back playing Masters 1000s and [the Nitto ATP Finals],” Nadal explained after the match, per Tennis365. Losing to Fritz put Nadal in a very uncomfortable spot as he will now likely need to win each of his next two matches to progress into the semifinal stage.
Nadal, a record 22-time Grand Slam champion, has never won the ATP Finals. Nadal will have to drastically improve his level if he wants to clinch his maiden ATP Finals title this year.