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“I want to enjoy the final”: Nadal looks ahead to clash with Fritz on American’s home turf

Rafael Nadal is now one win away from tying the all-time record of most ATP Masters Series titles won currently held by Novak Djokovic

Rafael Nadal, Indian Wells 2022 Rafael Nadal at Indian Wells, 2022 © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

ATP Indian Wells Masters 1000 | Results | Schedule

Rafael Nadal says he wants to enjoy Sunday’s final at the BNP Paribas Open where he will meet local favourite Taylor Fritz (not before 3:00 pm local time). On the line will be a chance to equal Novak Djokovic‘s record of 37 ATP Masters Series title and a chance to win his fourth consecutive title and 21st consecutive victory of 2022.

No one would have imagined in August when Nadal was seen on crutches that he would go on an unbeaten streak even before the clay court stretch began. But that’s exactly where we are three months into the season.

Nadal feeling fine physically

“Being in the final here in Indian Wells means a lot to me. (It) Is a very special place. I’m going to try to be ready for tomorrow. A match like today helps for the confidence.”

“I know tomorrow I need to be ready physically, mentally, in terms of playing at a very high level of tennis because he’s playing well. I going to try to do the work that I need to do to be ready for tomorrow and then let’s see.”

Despite two back-to-back close three set matches, Nadal said he was feeling fine physically, dismissing concerns that the medical time out he took late in the third set was a major issue.

I think I never lost a match here for a physical issue, in terms of being tired.

Rafael Nadal

“I still feeling a little bit, but remain a lot of hours for tomorrow. I really hope not going to be a problem. Well, you never know, so… But I am confident that nothing will happen.”

“Physically I feel well. I played three hours, almost three hours the other day, three hours today. In terms of physical performance, I don’t feel very tired. Here with the conditions, I always felt good physically here. I think I never lost a match here for a physical issue, in terms of being tired. I am quite well, honestly. I can’t complain. I am enjoying. Yeah, I had plenty of tough battles this week, but I still alive, so…”

“Fritz is playing a great level of tennis” (Nadal)

Nadal will face 24-year-old Taylor Fritz, who lives a short drive away from Indian Wells. The American ended the 13-match winning streak of Andrey Rublev in straight sets to in the first semi-final on Saturday to advance to his first ever ATP Masters Series final.

“He played great I think (in the semi-final). Super aggressive match against a very difficult player to play like Rublev. He came here winning two tournaments in a row. I think he played with great determination, very aggressive. I saw a while of the match. He play very well, honestly,” the Spaniard said.

Nadal – Fritz : 1-0 (at Acapulco)

Nadal and Fritz have played once before, with the Spaniard winning their clash in the 2020 Acapulco final. But the 35-year-old, who will return to No 3 in the rankings irrespective of Sunday’s result, says not too much should be read into that result because that match was a very long time ago.

“I think different circumstances, different moments of our careers. Okay, when matches happens in a short period of time, maybe yes, you can have a reference on that. When it happened two years before, a lot of things changes in our lives, in our careers. “

“Probably both us, we are different players. I don’t think (the Acapulco final) has any importance. I am ready to face a very tough opponent, he’s playing with amazing confidence, he’s playing well. Since the beginning of the season, he’s playing a great level of tennis, so is going to be a tough one.”

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