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Rafael Nadal clinches decisive tiebreaker to edge Taylor Fritz in Wimbledon quarterfinals and maintain perfect 2022 major record
The two-time winner survived a gritty competitor and an abdominal issue in advancing, 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (10-4), on Wednesday. Nick Kyrgios awaits...
Published Jul 06, 2022
Rafael Nadal’s quest for a calendar-year Grand Slam lives on for another round at Wimbledon—barely.
The 22-time major champion overcame an in-form Taylor Fritz and abdominal issue to prevail, 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (10-4), after well over four hours of battling on Wednesday. With it comes a blockbuster follow-up: a showdown with Nick Kyrgios, who advanced to his first major semifinal by dispatching Cristian Garin.
Early into the contest, Nadal was seen clutching his abdominal area, a trend that would persist. At times, he struggled to move at full speed, though did hold 3-1 and 3-0 leads in the first two sets before seeing them erased by the opposition.
At 4-3 in the second set, Nadal was visited by the trainer and left the court to receive treatment. It appeared his family did not want him to continue, but the two-time winner carried on, and eventually broke to level the contest.
Serving at 1-1, 30-40, Nadal double-faulted and bent over as he winced again. Fritz wrapped up the third set with a double break when Nadal yanked a crosscourt forehand wide.
Nadal twice saw break advantages erased by Fritz in the fourth set. He served to stay in it, 4-5, 0-15, then regained control to push the clash into a decider.
Both players held comfortably in the early goings. Then tension built.
At 2-3, Nadal stared down deuce. In the following game, Fritz saved two break points, the first with a backhand that kissed the net and trickled over, but Nadal seized a third with a forehand up the line-backhand drop shot winning combo.
Fritz didn’t go away. A nifty backhand half volley coupled with some mistakes from Nadal saw the American get back on serve. And from there, the two held to arrive at a decisive 10-point tiebreak.
Nadal bolted out to a 5-0 start, forcing the issue on Fritz’s backhand side. Three straight points from Fritz cut the gap briefly, but the No. 2 seed pulled away to shut the door.
Kyrgios and Nadal have met twice at Wimbledon; the Australian ousted the lefty in 2014, while Nadal claimed their 2019 meeting. Both went four sets.
Stay tuned for a full reaction from Steve Tignor.