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Tennis News March Round-up: Taylor Fritz beats Rafael Nadal to win Indian Wells, Swiatek wins 2nd consecutive WTA 1000 title, Barty announces shock retirement

Fritz beat Nadal to win the Indian Wells Masters while Swiatek will become the new World No. 1
Fritz beat Nadal to win the Indian Wells Masters while Swiatek will become the new World No. 1
Neelabhra Roy

The month of March witnessed a frenzy of activity across the tennis world, especially at the ATP and WTA 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami. Taylor Fritz beat Rafael Nadal to win his maiden Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells, while Iga Swiatek won the women's singles competition to mark her second WTA 1000 title on the trot.

The Pole will become the new World No. 1 on Monday following the shock retirement of Ashleigh Barty.

Here's a recap of all the action that took place this past month.

Fritz wins maiden Masters 1000 title after beating Nadal in Indian Wells final

Taylor Fritz beat Rafael Nadal in the final at Indian Wells
Taylor Fritz beat Rafael Nadal in the final at Indian Wells

Taylor Fritz had a dream couple of weeks at Indian Wells as he won the BNP Paribas Open in style. The American beat Andrey Rublev in the semifinals, breaking the Russian's 13-match winning run, and went on to defeat Nadal in the final.

Taylor Fritz is the 2022 BNP Paribas Open champion, defeating πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈRafael Nadal in straight sets 6-3, 7-6 (5). Fritz gives Nadal his first loss in 2022. Fritz is the first American man to win at Indian Wells since Andre Agassi in 2001. #BNPParibasOpen #IndianWells

The victory over Nadal secured the American his first Masters 1000 title and a career-high ranking of No. 13.

The King of Clay did not look at his best physically and was struggling with chest problems in the title clash.

It was later revealed that Nadal suffered a rib stress fracture and would be out for four to six weeks. The 35-year-old has since withdrawn from the Monte-Carlo Masters and it remains to be seen whether he will be fit in time for Roland Garros.

Swiatek to become new World No. 1 after Barty's retirement

Ashleigh Barty shocked the world by announcing her retirement from tennis just a couple of months after winning the Australian Open. The 26-year-old will be removed from the WTA rankings when they are updated in April and Iga Swiatek will take her place as the new World No. 1.

Welcome to the club ☝️ @iga_swiatek is the π—³π—Άπ—Ώπ˜€π˜ Polish player in tennis history to become singles World No.1 πŸ‡΅πŸ‡± #1GA https://t.co/W8IEJh9C1n

The Pole won the Indian Wells Open, which was her second WTA 1000 title in a row, and is on course to triumph in Miami as well. Swiatek is currently on a 16-match winning streak and will take on Naomi Osaka in the final.

Osaka dazzles in Miami

Naomi Osaka had a disappointing outing at Indian Wells, losing to Veronika Kudermetova in the second round after she was brought to tears by a heckler.

However, she has bounced back in Miami. The Japanese has beaten the likes of Angelique Kerber, Danielle Collins and, most recently, Belinda Bencic to reach her first final of the 2022 season. The title clash against Swiatek promises to be a mouth-watering affair.

Daniil Medvedev loses No. 1 ranking

Elsewhere, Daniil Medvedev lost the No. 1 ranking after being eliminated in the third round at Indian Wells against Gael Monfils. The Russian reached the quarterfinals of the Miami Masters but lost to reigning champion Hubert Hurkacz, thus squandering an opportunity to regain the top spot from Novak Djokovic.

Carlos Alcaraz continued his breathtaking rise by becoming the youngest man to reach the semifinals at Indian Wells and Miami. The Spaniard lost to Nadal in the former but will fancy his chances of winning his first Masters 1000 title in Miami.

Hurkacz, who will take on Alcaraz in the semifinals in Miami, has a chance to create history himself. If the 25-year-old wins the singles and doubles titles, he will become the first man to achieve the feat.

The Davis Cup qualifiers also took place in March, with Argentina, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, France, Spain, Kazakhstan, the United States, Germany, Australia and South Korea sealing their berth in the Finals that will take place later this year.


Edited by Nihal Taraporvala

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