Home favorite Taylor Fritz scripted history at Indian Wells by becoming the first American in over 20 years to win the Indian Wells Masters. He stunned overwhelming favorite Rafael Nadal in the final in straight sets 6-3,7-6(5) to win his first Masters 1000 title. In doing so, he also stopped Nadal’s unbeaten 20-match winning streak.
Fritz, who was suffering from an injury ahead of the title clash wasn’t even sure of playing the final. He was advised by his coaches to skip the final and hand a walkover to Nadal, but the American not only played the final, but won it against all odds.
Naturally, he was in tears as soon as he converted the championship point and expressed his ecstasy after the match. He was lost for words and said revealed with tears that he had never experienced worse pain in his life before a match.
“I can’t even begin to describe how ridiculous it is that I was able to play how I could play today,” Fritz said, choking back tears after winning on home soil in California. “I’ve never experienced worse pain in my life before a match.”
He revealed that he had a lot of ankle pain before the match but when he stepped on the court, it didn’t affect him. “We did a lot of work leading up to the match and I went through a roller coaster of emotions before the match, from thinking there was no way I could possibly play to then doing all this work on the ankle, doing so much stuff to it… I came out here and it didn’t really affect me at all,” he said.
‘This is going to be tough because I’m such a happy crier’: Taylor Fritz
Fritz was very emotional after the victory. He said that he’ll have to hold back tears for every single interview he does because he’s ‘such a happy crier’.
“I’m going to have to hold back tears for every single interview I do, every single on-court speech. This is going to be tough because I’m such a happy crier,” he said.
He further said that being a Californian himself, it was his childhood dream to win Indian Wells that he thought may never come true. He still wasn’t able to digest the fact that he is the 2022 Indian Wells champion.
“Winning this tournament especially, Indian Wells, this is one of those childhood dreams that you just never think can come true. I just keep saying, ‘No, no. Just no way it’s real'” he said.
Heading into the Miami Masters, Fritz reaches a career high of No.13 in the ATP Rankings.