Rafael Nadal mentioned he was sluggish and rusty as he suffered a disastrous begin to his bid to win the ATP Finals for the primary time after crashing to a 7-6 (7/3), 6-1 defeat to Taylor Fritz on Sunday.
“It’s about time,” the 36-year-old mentioned. “I’ve much less time than him to do what I need to do on the ball. I felt that all the pieces was going so quick.”
The year-ending Finals is the one main trophy lacking from tennis icon Nadal’s record of honors however his straight-sets loss means he’ll battle to flee the round-robin stage.
He most likely must win each his remaining matches towards Inexperienced Group opponents Casper Ruud and Felix Auger-Aliassime if he’s to make the semi-finals.
Nadal, who had not performed on the tour because the US Open in September, mentioned he’s struggling to rediscover his finest type after current accidents.
“Usually I attempt to come again in decrease occasions,” Nadal mentioned. “Usually you don’t must play at your high to win a few matches. Then if you happen to made that occur, whenever you face the highest gamers, you’re extra prepared.”
Nadal mentioned he struggled with the aggression of Fritz and the tempo of the floor.
“On a lot of the factors of the match, I used to be in a defensive place and he was in an offensive place. That’s what occurred. That’s one thing that was tough to keep away from for me as a result of it’s essential be faster in your legs, faster in your thoughts.”
“That’s what’s occurring if you end up coming again,” he mentioned.
“On this sort of floor, it’s essential play very properly. You don’t have time to suppose.”
Fritz, who’s on the Finals for the primary time in his profession after changing injured world primary Carlos Alcaraz, gave Nadal a torrid time with some aggressive tennis.
“I did an excellent job, defending my serve, holding my serve and I did very properly within the tie-breaker,” mentioned Fritz on courtroom.
“As soon as I bought by way of that I simply needed to do the identical factor I used to be doing within the second set, defending my serve and capitalise on break factors once I bought them.”
Nadal mentioned he was outplayed within the second set.
“On the finish, Fritz performed very properly. I used to be not in a position to deal with his energy,” mentioned Nadal.
“Serving like Fritz served, then you’re below strain on a regular basis,” Nadal mentioned.
“When any individual is serving that manner, on the return he’s going for each shot. Simply properly performed from him.”
Ruud was additionally a straight-sets winner over Auger-Alissime, 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, within the day’s different singles contest. The Norwegian sits behind Fritz within the standings with the highest two from every group progressing to the semis.
The world quantity 4 got here by way of an uninspiring encounter in a single hour and 51 minutes after claiming his one and solely likelihood to interrupt Canadian Auger-Aliassime’s serve in recreation seven of the second set.
This season’s Roland Garros and US Open finalist then served out the remainder of the set to assert the win.
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