Fritz: Says Nadal Defeat 'Hurts More Than Any Loss I've Had'
Taylor Fritz came close to the biggest win of his career on Wednesday at Wimbledon against Rafael Nadal. But instead of advancing to his first major semi-final, the American lost against the 22-time major winner in a final-set tie-break and walked off court shattered.
“It was a tough match. I think I did some things well and some things not as good. In the end he was just really, really, really good,” Fritz said. “Certain parts of the match I felt like maybe I kind of just needed to come up with more, do more. I left a lot up to him, and he delivered. It was a great match. Honestly, probably hurts more than any loss I've ever had.”
The 24-year-old showed his dismay as he walked to the net to shake hands with Nadal, and took a moment at his chair before leaving the court.
“After the match was over, I was sitting there and I felt like crying, like I wanted to cry,” Fritz said. “I’ve never felt like that ever after a loss. I've never felt like I could cry after a loss. Just that's telling enough to know that this one hurt more than any other one's hurt before.”
The good news for Fritz is that he pushed the two-time Wimbledon champion to the absolute limits in his first major quarter-final. Although he was unable to claw past the Spaniard, Fritz showed he is capable of testing the best in the sport on tennis’ biggest stages.
“Taking a step back, it's nice. I made my first quarter-final. I'm moving in the right direction,” Fritz said. “I don't know. I would look at my form and how I feel like I've been playing and my draw, and I would expect myself to make the quarter-finals. It's a great achievement, I'm really happy.
“I really, really wanted this match. So it's tough right now I guess to look at the bright side of things because I really, really wanted this one.”
Earlier this year, Fritz defeated Nadal in the BNP Paribas Open final to lift his first ATP Masters 1000 trophy. The American carried confidence from that victory into their clash at SW19, but was unable to replicate the result.
“At Indian Wells I truly believed that I could win, and I truly believed that I could beat him. The same goes for today. It's kind of just the attitude you have to have,” Fritz said. “These guys, they're so good at Slams. But a lot of beating them is also kind of beating the name you're playing against, just having that belief that you can do it.
“I think that's a big hurdle to get over. I think that's something that has definitely changed for me more recently, is that I do believe they're beatable. But it still takes a hell of an effort to be able to beat them.”