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Sports News | ATP Finals: Nadal Faces American Taylor Fritz in 1st Round, Eyes Maiden Title




Torino [Italy], Nov 13 (ANI): The 2022 Nitto ATP Finals will begin on Sunday after the pre-tournament extravaganza wraps up in Turin. The Pala Alpitour will be on fire with group stage action, with top-seeded Rafael Nadal set to face tournament debutant Taylor Fritz to wrap up day one.

In the second half of the season, Nadal lost his ATP Tour rhythm for good and bad reasons. Along with running out of time to recover from two abdominal tears he suffered at Wimbledon and just before the US Open, he welcomed the birth of his first child in October.

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He said he would arrive in Turin early in a bid to get back to the peak form that saw him open the season with a personal-best 20-game winning streak after an early start at the Rolex Paris Masters. The Spaniard was actually among the first to start practicing in northern Italy.

“I’m happy because I was able to train and I’m looking forward to playing well. If I didn’t think I had a chance to fight for what I came here for, I wouldn’t be here. I think I have a chance,” Nadal told in Turin.

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He came to compete for the elusive major championship of his illustrious career. The 2010 and 2013 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up could win the championship in his 11th appearance at the competition, giving him the ATP year-end No. 1 ranking for the sixth year.

Taylor Fritz, with whom he has shared two big matches this season, is Nadal’s first opponent. In his native Southern California, Fritz prevailed in their first meeting of 2022, using his strong serve and forehand to win the Indian Wells championship with a 6-3, 7-6(5) triumph. Nadal battled through the quarter-finals of Wimbledon, winning 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (10-4) although he had to withdraw later due to an abdominal problem.

“Playing against Rafa is a big problem. The match we had at Wimbledon was very close. Between the two matches we played there were very high peaks [after Indian Wells] and very low bass [following Wimbledon]. I’m thrilled to open with him on Sunday night,” Fritz said.

After the double winners of Roland Garros, Jean-Julien Rojer and Marcelo Arevalo, against Harri Heliovaara and Lloyd Glasspool, Casper Ruud faces the famous Felix Auger-Aliassime in the afternoon. Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram, the previous year’s doubles champions, will face Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos. (ANI)

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