Stubborn Fritz ignores injury to see off Nadal at Indian Wells

6. Fritz Wells
Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a backhand reply to compatriot Carlos Alcaraz in their ATP semifinal match at the Indian Wells tennis tournament on March 19, 2022 in Indian Wells, California. (Photo: AFP)
INDIAN WELLS, United States — Taylor Fritz’s stubborn streak stood him in good stead on Sunday as the American worked through a painful ankle injury in time to see off Spanish great Rafael Nadal in the ATP Indian Wells Masters final.اضافة اعلان

Hours earlier it looked like the 24-year-old American ranked 20th in the world wouldn’t be able to take the court for what would turn out to be the greatest win of his career.

But after treatment to numb the pain and against the advice of several in his camp, Fritz found himself celebrating a 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) triumph over the 21-time Grand Slam champion.

“In the end, I am glad I made this decision,” Fritz said. “We’ll see how it is tomorrow. I have an MRI tomorrow.”

He acknowledged that his participation in next week’s Miami Masters is now “questionable.”

But he’s not sorry he’s so “incredibly stubborn.”

The 24-year-old Californian said that’s part of what helped him recover in time for Wimbledon last year after he departed Roland Garros in a wheelchair then underwent surgery to repair damage in his right knee.

“I think I’m an extremely stubborn person,” he said of his ability to shake off injury. “I also think I have a very high pain tolerance and not a lot of regard for potentially damaging myself worse if I think there’s a chance I can get on the court and play.

“It’s probably a lot of not-so-good things that get me on the court,” added Fritz, who also kept playing in Toronto last year when he was “seeing fuzzy and almost blacking out.”

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