“It’s Just Different”: Taylor Fritz Ranks Rafael Nadal Ahead of Peers

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Rising American tennis player Taylor Fritz has put Rafael Nadal ahead of his peers when it comes to mental toughness. The American shared his thoughts on some of the big names in the current crop on Twitter. 

“Rafael Nadal’s mentality sets him apart”: Taylor Fritz

On the one quality that separates Nadal from the rest, Fritz said mentality.

“Rafa. When it comes to mental toughness, for sure Rafa.

Rafael Nadal celebrates
Tennis – ATP Finals – The O2, London, Britain – November 15, 2020 Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates winning his group stage match against Russia’s Andrey Rublev Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

“The way he competes and just the way he thinks, it’s just different.

“So, I’m going to have to go with Rafa,”  said Fritz, who is currently placed 29th in the ATP players’ standings.

The American commends Spanish champion for the “way he fights”

The American also commended Nadal for the way he fights and wins matches in the face of grave odds.

Asked to name one player with the ultimate heart, Fritz said, “That’s going to have to just be Rafa. The way he leads, the way he just competes, it’s just different.”

Currently tied with Roger Federer with 20 Grand Slam titles, Nadal is bidding to end his trophy drought in the ongoing ATP Finals.

He opened his campaign with a comfortable, straight-set win over Russian Andey Rublev.

However, his last-four hopes were dented after he lost an edge-of-the-seat thriller to Austrian Dominic Thiem. In a match that could have easily gone either way, Thiem won 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (7-4).

Rafael Nadal seeking affirmation at indoors in London

The Spaniard will next play defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Rublev in his previous game. Nadal’s perceived aversion to hard courts has been blamed for his failure to win the ATP Finals in nine attempts.

Rafael Nadal
Tennis – ATP Finals – The O2, London, Britain – November 15, 2020 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his group stage match against Russia’s Andrey Rublev REUTERS/Toby Melville

Nadal, in his own words, has never been comfortable playing on indoor surfaces. However, his improved hard-court play over the last couple of years has given him hope of a strong showing in the Finals this time.

However, as was seen in his defeat to Thiem, it will be a tough road ahead for the Spaniard in the event.

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