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Taylor Fritz stuns Rafael Nadal, Casper Ruud beats Auger-Aliassime at ATP Finals

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Taylor Fritz shocked Rafael Nadal 7-6(3) 6-1 to make a profitable debut on the ATP Finals in Turin whereas Norway’s Casper Ruud kick-started the round-robin stage earlier on Sunday with a win over Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Spanish high seed Nadal arrived in Italy having solely competed in a single singles match since his fourth-round U.S. Open loss two months in the past and his lack of latest competitors confirmed as he was unable to maintain tempo with Fritz because the match wore on.

“I need more matches to play at this kind of level, even if I am practicing well, much better than how I am competing, without a doubt. That’s normal,” Nadal advised reporters.

“At the end is not the ideal tournament and probably part of the season to come back after a couple of months without being on the tour because you don’t have time to get confidence.”

Taylor ON TOP 🔥

The second @Taylor_Fritz97 claimed his first #NittoATPFinals win over high seed Nadal!

— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 13, 2022

Nadal grabbed a 6-5 lead within the opening set when he held to like for the fifth time however then misplaced the opening three factors of the tiebreaker and couldn’t discover his means again.

After neither participant dropped serve within the first set, Fritz broke early within the second for a 3-1 lead and once more to drag forward 5-1 earlier than closing out the match on his subsequent service recreation when Nadal despatched a forehand lengthy.

“Once I got through that first set I just wanted to do the same thing I was doing for the second set: take care of my serve and just look to capitalise on the break points when I got them,” Fritz stated in his on-court interview.

“I knew coming out here this was going to be a big match if I want to make it out of the group, it’s a really important one.”

For Fritz, the victory marked his first over a top-three opponent in 12 makes an attempt and improved him to 2-2 in head-to-head conferences with Nadal having crushed him at Indian Wells in March.

Spain’s Rafael Nadal returns the ball to United States’ Taylor Fritz throughout their singles tennis match of the ATP World Tour Finals, on the Pala Alpitour in Turin, Italy, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Canadian Auger-Aliassime has been in elegant type on the finish of the season, profitable three tournaments in a row earlier than a semi-final run on the Paris Masters, however was not at his greatest whereas falling 7-6(4) 6-4 to Ruud.

Although he fired 26 winners previous world quantity 4 Ruud, they had been offset by 26 unforced errors because the Norwegian wrapped up the victory to get on the board within the Green Group, which additionally has Nadal and Fritz.

“I think this is some of the best level that I’ve played since the U.S. Open,” stated Ruud, who reached the ultimate of the 12 months’s final Grand Slam in New York.

“The last couple of months have been a little bit of a struggle, I have to honestly say that, but you have to accept it as well. You will face difficult moments in your career, and maybe these last couple of months was one of those.”

Auger-Aliassime had received 16 matches in a row to win titles in Florence, Antwerp and Basel final month.

But Ruud, a semi-finalist final 12 months, stamped his authority within the tiebreak and didn’t face a single break level within the match as he beat the Canadian for the second time this 12 months.