Led twice by Taylor Fritz, visibly affected in the abdominals, Rafael Nadal never gave up and joined Nick Kyrgios in the semi-finals of Wimbledon after a long fight of more than four hours.
Rafael Nadal is untouchable this year in Grand Slam! Sacred in Australia and then at Roland-Garros, the “Taurus of Manacor” will be present in the semi-finals at Wimbledon and he can’t even come back himself. After more than four hours of an epic fight against a valiant but too tender Taylor Fritz, the world number 4 had to draw from deep within himself the strength to win in five rounds. Because, if Rafael Nadal got off to a flying start with the break from the first game, it was the American who had the advantage in a first set which saw him win five games in a row to conclude in an authoritarian manner, without leave the slightest point to the Spaniard.
A scenario that seemed to repeat itself. Indeed, after taking the service of Taylor Fritz to lead three games to nothing, Rafael Nadal experienced a moment of weakness and let his opponent return to height. Visibly weakened, the native of Manacor then left Center Court for a few minutes to seek treatment. After the match, he confirmed that he suffered from abdominal pain and had to change his way of playing to suffer less. An interruption that cut Taylor Fritz in his tracks. Unable to put his opponent in difficulty, the 14th player in the world once again yielded his serve and let Rafael Nadal return to the match. Not demobilized, the American recovered and, on his first break point, took the service of the Spaniard.
Nadal made Fritz give in at the end of the suspense
It was he who then interrupted the game for a few minutes, calling on the doctor to remove a strapping from the new left thigh. Not yielding anything to Rafael Nadal, Taylor Fritz kept the advantage and took the lead at the end of this third set by again breaking the number 2 seed of the tournament. The fourth set had an absolutely disjointed start. Indeed, the two players lost their first service game but it was the Spaniard who took the lead, not without saving a break point in the process. An advantage that did not last very long, however, Taylor Fritz equalizing four games everywhere.
Rafael Nadal then knew how to put the necessary thrust to avoid a decisive game, equalizing with two sets everywhere on a shutout after taking over the service of the American. The final round began with a standoff between the two players, which ended with another break in favor of Rafael Nadal. But the 14th world replied in stride. From then on, the deciding game appeared inevitable. A super-tiebreak that the Spaniard started in perfect fashion, quickly leading five points to nothing. Taylor Fritz then replied to come back to two lengths but the American again lost his footing. The second match point was good for Rafael Nadal (3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 in 4:20 ‘) who will find Nick Kyrgios for an already enticing semi-final.