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"You always make the most aggressive decision, and play more freely" - Taylor Fritz on facing Rafael Nadal

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Taylor Fritz, after beating Rafael Nadal at the 2022 BNP Paribas Open
Taylor Fritz, after beating Rafael Nadal at the 2022 BNP Paribas Open

Taylor Fritz believes it is important for one to play aggressive tennis and take their chances when playing someone of Rafael Nadal's caliber. Fritz reckons that facing Nadal allows you to play "more freely," given you would almost always go in as the underdog.

On Wednesday, the American will face the 22-time Slam champion in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. This would be their third meeting on tour, with Nadal having beaten Fritz in the 2020 Mexican Open and Fritz having exacted revenge at Indian Wells this year.

Speaking to the media, the 24-year-old American pointed out that he managed to upset Rafael Nadal at Indian Wells because he played an aggressive brand of tennis, which he believes is a necessity against the Mallorcan.

"I was very aggressive in that match. I took my chances. Against someone like Rafa, you have to do it like that," said Fritz.

The American further explained that it is easy to pick a strategy against Nadal, given you would always need to play lights-out tennis courtesy of being the underdog.

"Decision-making is easy," he continued. "You don't think twice, like when you play someone you're a favourite. Against them I think 'Should I play like that? Should I be more defensive?' Against Rafa, it's simple, because you always make the most aggressive decision. You play more freely."

Fritz has so far played and beaten Lorenzo Musetti, Alex Molcan, Alastair Gray, and Jason Kubler at the All England Club. He pointed out that he was the favorite against each of them and added that it is more liberating to be the underdog.

"During the whole tournament I've played against people who, on paper, I had to beat. It's always more difficult for me to play those games than in those where you're not the favourite. You're kind of more liberated," Fritz said.

"I know I'm going to have to be at a high level" - Taylor Fritz on his clash against Rafael Nadal

Taylor Fritz after beating Jason Kubler at Wimbledon 2022
Taylor Fritz after beating Jason Kubler at Wimbledon 2022

During the interaction, Taylor Fritz acknowledged that he would need to operate close to his best to stand a chance against Rafael Nadal.

Fritz also pointed out that both players would enter this match fit and raring to go, unlike their Indian Wells clash, when both the American and Nadal were physically depleted following lengthy semifinal clashes.

"I know I'm going to have to be at a high level," Fritz said. "I'm going to have to play at a higher level. It's going to be a different match for sure. Indian Wells was a bit crazy because we were dead after the semis. Now with both healthy... we'll see what happens."

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Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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