Taylor Fritz spectacularly claimed his first ATP 1000 trophy on Sunday, defeating Rafael Nadal 6-3 7-6 (7-5) to win the Indian Wells Masters.

Having only won once in his previous five finals, against Sam Querrey at Eastbourne in 2019, the 24-year-old displayed distinct maturity under pressure despite carrying an ankle injury.

The Spanish world number four's undefeated streak coming into Sunday's final ended at 20 with the loss.

For Fritz however, his first Masters title coming in as many finals was difficult to process, especially against an opponent in Nadal in front of his home crowd.

"I've lost these matches against the big guys my whole life," Fritz said in his on-court interview. "It's always felt like they're just unbeatable, so to do it on this stage, you have to beat the best."

"This is just one of those childhood dreams, winning this tournament especially at Indian Wells. This is one of those childhood dreams that you just never think will come true. I just keep saying 'no way this is real'."

Both faced pressure under their respective serves, but Nadal ultimately failed to capitalise on opportunies, converting only twice out of a possible 10 break points.

His 34 unforced errors in comparison to Fritz's 22, in such a closely contested match, contributed to the eventual result.

Fritz overcame his ankle concerns to race to a 4-0 lead in the first set before Nadal, facing his own physical challenges, took a medical time-out after losing the first set.

Nadal saved a championship point to force a tiebreak in the second set. Reflecting the pressure he was under after going down a mini-break, though, the Spaniard's ground strokes teetered dangerously close to the baseline.

The 35-year-old even made rare approaches to the net to turn defence into attack, amid some thrilling exchanges from the baseline, but a scuffed volley from mid-court to set up another Fritz championship point was the last straw despite displaying his trademark doggedness.

Rafael Nadal extended his 2022 win streak to 20 matches and clinched a spot in his fifth Indian Wells Masters final after a thrilling three-set victory over compatriot Carlos Alcaraz on Saturday.

The fourth seed lifted in the final set to win 6-4 4-6 6-3 over 19th seed Alcaraz in three hours and 12 minutes, with Nadal to play American Taylor Fritz in Sunday's decider.

The match was played amid blustery conditions, particularly the second set, where debris flew on to the court regularly interrupting or delaying play, which appeared to impact Nadal more.

Alcaraz had more winners (41-24) but also more unforced errors (34-26), with Nadal finding another gear when it mattered in the final set.

Nadal's victory improved his record to 20-0 this season, earning him a fifth Indian Wells Masters final spot and his first since 2013. The Spaniard won the Indian Wells crown in 2007, 2009, 2013 and was runner-up in 2011.

The 35-year-old also clinched a berth in his 53rd Masters final, keeping him on track for a 37th title at this level. 

The 21-time major winner claimed the decisive break in the eighth game of the third set after a physio break for treatment on his back, before serving out to-love for victory.

"In the second, the conditions became crazy, honestly," Nadal said during his on-court interview. "It was not funny playing in this wind. In terms of tennis it was OK but in terms of stopping all the time, it was not good.

"In the third I think I played much better. I played much more aggressive. I am super happy. Being in the final means a lot to me."

Alcaraz had started the better to open up a 2-0 lead in the opening set, before Nadal responded emphatically.

There were five breaks in a row in the second set, including the Spanish teenager going ahead 5-4 after a game lasting almost 20 minutes, converting his seventh break point, before serving out the set.

As the conditions settled, Nadal showed more aggression, coming into the net with regularity before taking the key break in the eighth game.

American 20th seed Fritz reached his first ATP Masters 1000 final with a 7-5 6-4 victory over seventh seed Andrey Rublev in one hour and 50 minutes.

The California native is the first American male to reach the Indian Wells since John Isner in 2012.

"It's just unreal, really. It doesn't even seem real. I'm just trying to take in the moment, regroup and come back tomorrow for the final," Fritz said in his on-court interview. "But it's a dream come true."

"Today I definitely played my best match of the tournament so far. I was so much more aggressive from the ground and so much more solid [with] my ground strokes, whereas [in] other matches I was maybe playing a bit safer.

"I really tried to take it to him and impose my game today. I did it well, so that helped a lot."

After his elimination from the Indian Wells Masters, Nick Kyrgios fired back at a reporter who questioned him about an incident after the match where he launched his racket, almost hitting a ball-kid.

Rafael Nadal ultimately emerged victorious in the match 7-6 (7-0) 5-7 6-4, after shaking hands with Nadal and the match umpire, Kyrgios spiked his racket into the ground as he walked back to his bench.

Speaking with post-match media, Kyrgios was sarcastic and rude when questioned about it.

"That's a question you're going to say after a three-hour battle against Nadal – that's what you've come here with?" he said.

"What would you like me to say about it? Obviously was that my intention? No, because did I throw the racquet anywhere near him originally? It landed a metre from my foot and skidded and nearly hit him. I'm human. 

"Things happen like that obviously, it was a very misfortunate [sic] bounce. What do you want me to say? It was three metres away from the kid. 

After his elimination from the Indian Wells Masters, Nick Kyrgios fired back at a reporter who questioned him about an incident after the match where he launched his racket, almost hitting a ball-kid.

Rafael Nadal ultimately emerged victorious in the match 7-6 (7-0) 5-7 6-4, after shaking hands with Nadal and the match umpire, Kyrgios spiked his racket into the ground as he walked back to his bench.

Speaking with post-match media, Kyrgios was sarcastic and rude when questioned about it.

"That's a question you're going to say after a three-hour battle against Nadal – that's what you've come here with?" he said.

"What would you like me to say about it? 

"Obviously was that my intention? No, because did I throw the racquet anywhere near him originally? It landed a metre from my foot and skidded and nearly hit him. I'm human. 

"Things happen like that obviously, it was a very misfortunate bounce. 

"What do you want me to say? It was three metres away from the kid. 

Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz set up an all-Spanish semi-final at the Indian Wells Masters, after both secured wins on Thursday.

Nadal overcame a strong start and comeback from Nick Kyrgios to eventually win 7-6(6-0) 5-7 6-4 in the opening quarter-final, before Alcaraz beat defending champion Cameron Norrie 6-4 6-3.

The Spaniard extended his unbeaten run in 2022 to a staggering 19-0, but the win was not without its share of controversy against the fiery Kyrgios.

A shutout tie-break to end the first was followed by a fiery resurgence from Kyrgios, before he eventually collapsed in the third set and nearly hit a ball kid at the end of the match, when the 26-year-old smashed his racquet in frustration before it bounced up dangerously.

Similarly to his fourth-round win over Reilly Opelka, Nadal used all of his tactical nous to nullify Kyrgios’ serve and power, frustrating his opponent to eventually claim the victory.

"It's difficult to play against him [Kyrgios], always tough because he changes the dynamic of the point very quick and his serve is huge, especially the first serve," Nadal said afterwards.

"I think I played a good third set. Returning better, I was solid with the serve. I just suffered in one game with my serve.

"Nick is one of these kinds of players that you’re going to have problems when he’s motivated."

It was a carbon copy of recent matches between the two, with Nadal eventually waiting for Kygrios’ collapse and pouncing. He now leads their head-to-head battle 6-3.

The win set up an exciting match-up with Spanish starlet Alcaraz, who was brimming with confidence against Norrie in the night game.

The 18-year-old gave the Indian Wells defending champion problems with his characteristically flat two-handed backhand, before opening up the shoulders on the forehand side as the game progressed.

It made up for the fact he only won 59 percent of points on first serve, converting on five of his nine break point attempts.

His stroke play from the baseline was at times thrilling, particularly to set up 15-30 in the fourth game before immediately breaking Norrie back.

Rafael Nadal, the 21-time grand slam winner, says the recently announced introduction of final-set tie-breaks across all grand slams will make the biggest impact at Wimbledon, rather than the French Open.

Tennis' Grand Slam Board announced this week that first-to-10 tie-breaks will be trialled across all grand slams with immediate effect, as a means of providing "greater consistency" to matches which go the distance.

Previously, each grand slam was free to adopt its own rules for deciding longer matches, with the Australian Open the only one to use first-to-10 tie-breaks at 6-6 in a deciding set.

Wimbledon, for example, used a first-to-seven tie-break to decide final sets which reached 12-12.

Speaking after dispatching Reilly Opelka in straight sets at the Indian Wells Masters, Nadal, who will look to add to his Australian Open triumph in the year's other three majors, explained he was not for or against the changes.

The 35-year-old also, however, predicted the alterations would have a bigger impact at Wimbledon than at the French Open, which he could win for a 14th time at Roland Garros in May.

"I don't care much, honestly!" said Nadal. "I am not in favour or not against, that's what they decided, and happy with it or not, I don't think I'm going to make a big difference.

"But I read that every [tournament] is going to have the same, and in some ways that's positive.

"I don't think at Roland Garros it will make a big impact. In my opinion the biggest impact is going to be at Wimbledon, [where] sometimes it's so difficult to break serve, so the matches become very long.

"I don't feel that for Roland Garros it will change a lot. Okay, [without the changes] it can be a few more games, but I don't think at Roland Garros you're normally going to go to 22-20. At Wimbledon, that can happen."

 

The longest men's singles match played at a grand slam, judged by the number of games played, came at Wimbledon in 2010, when John Isner beat Nicolas Mahut 6-4 3-6 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (7-3) 70-68.

By contrast, the longest men's singles match in French Open history saw Fabrice Santoro beat fellow Frenchman Arnaud Clement 6-4 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 3-6 16-14, in 2004. 

After defeating Opelka in his round-of-16 tie at Indian Wells, Nadal will now face Australia's Nick Kyrgios for a place in the semi-finals.

Earlier in the week, the Spaniard became the first-ever player to reach 400 wins at Masters 1000 tournaments by beating Dan Evans in the last 32. 

Rafael Nadal did it tough against Reilly Opelka on Wednesday, eventually winning his way through to the quarter-finals at the Indian Wells Masters.

Nadal displayed an abundance of tactical nous, nullifying the American’s big hitting and service game to emerge the 7-6(6-3) 7-6(7-5) winner.

Along with a 76 percent first-serve rate, Opelka hit more winners with 26 for the match, but the 35-year-old Spaniard was able to grind out points from the baseline with his trademark heavy topspin. As a result, Nadal’s winner/unforced error differential was +14 in comparison to Opelka’s +1.

"He is one of the toughest opponents on tour," Nadal said post-match. "It is very tough to control his weapons with his serve and forehand.

"I think I played my best match of the tournament so far today. I am very pleased with how I was able to win the match, with two difficult tie-breaks. This victory means a lot to me."

The highest ranked player left in the draw, Nadal will now face Nick Kyrgios, who progressed to the quarter-finals after Jannik Sinner withdrew with illness.

Matteo Berrettini made a shock exit, meanwhile, losing 6-3 6-7(5-7) 6-4 to unseeded Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic.

The Italian world number six was put under constant pressure, with Kecmanovic targeting his backhand and hovered the baseline to close the angles on serve.

The 22-year-old’s only other top 10 victory came against Alexander Zverev, also the world number six then, at Cincinnati in 2019. He will now face Taylor Fritz, who defeated Alex de Minaur 3-6 6-4 7-6(7-5).

Also on Wednesday, Grigor Dimitrov edged past John Isner 6-3 7-6(8-6). In his unique style, the Bulgarian 33rd seed came up with the shot of the day, flicking a forehand pass across the visibly stunned Isner.

He will face Andrey Rublev, who defeated Hurbert Hurkacz 7-6(7-5) 6-4. In Wednesday’s other results, Carlos Alcaraz Garfia comfortably defeated Gael Monfils 7-5 6-1, while Cameron Norrie accounted for Jenson Brooksby 6-2 6-4.

Rafael Nadal sympathises with Naomi Osaka over the abuse she was subjected to at Indian Wells, but says athletes must be prepared to deal with it "as nothing is perfect in life".

Osaka was reduced to tears as she crashed out of the Indian Wells Open with a 6-0 6-4 third-round defeat to 21st seed Veronika Kudermetova on Saturday.

A member of the crowd could be heard shouting "Naomi, you suck" after the four-time grand slam champion had been broken in the first game of the match.

Osaka approached the chair umpire to report the incident and held further discussions with the court supervisor after being insulted again.

While accepting there is no place for such conduct, 21-time grand slam winner Nadal believes players should learn to cope with hostile environments.

"These kind of questions are tough to answer because, in some way, the easy answer for me is I feel terrible about what happened, that never should happen," he told reporters.

"The real thing, in the real world, that happens, you know? I feel very sorry for her. We are having, in my opinion, a great life. 

"We are very lucky people that we're able to enjoy amazing experiences because of our life, because we are tennis players. We make money.

"Even if is terrible to hear from that, we must be prepared for that. We need to resist these kind of issues that can happen when you are exposed to people. 

"At the same time, as we like a lot when the people are supporting, when something like this happens, we need to accept and move forward.

"I understand that probably Naomi, she suffered a lot with his probably kind of issues that she has, mental [health] issues. 

"The only thing that I wish for her is to recover well from that and wish her all the very best. But nothing is perfect in this life. We need to be ready for adversities."

Speaking shortly after the incident, an emotional Osaka said being targeted by the spectator reminded her of abuse the Williams sisters were subjected to at the same event.

Serena and Venus Williams were the victims of verbal abuse at the tournament in the Californian desert back in 2001.

The siblings' father, Richard Williams, claimed he had been racially abused at Indian Wells, while Venus Williams said she "heard whatever he heard".

Daniil Medvedev, who will concede his status as world number one back to Novak Djokovic from next week, said he can relate to how Osaka felt after recently hitting out at the "disrespectful" crowd at the Australian Open.

"I didn't see it with my own eyes, and I didn't watch the videos after, so I just heard it from someone who heard from someone, so I don't want to go too much into it," he said.

"It's tough for everybody because I can feel for Naomi. I mean, I felt not great in Australia. 

"You know they're [the players] getting millions. They should be ready for everything. At the same time, we're humans. We all make mistakes, good decisions. 

"Sometimes we feel bad. Sometimes we feel good. I can understand that Naomi didn't feel that great when she heard it and I can completely understand her feelings.

"Life would be easier if everybody would be calm and not angry but, even talking about me, I get angry, so I should be better also."

Novak Djokovic will return to the top of the ATP rankings after Daniil Medvedev fell to a brilliant Gael Monfils comeback at the Indian Wells Open.

Medvedev was beaten 4-6 6-3 6-1 by Frenchman Monfils, with the reigning US Open champion only able to connect on 50 per cent of his first serves, while he was broken three times in the decider.

For Monfils, the win earns him a spot in the fourth round against Carlos Alcaraz, while the loss means Medvedev will lose his position as world number one after only two weeks.

Speaking to post-match media, Medvedev said while he will work hard to earn the top-ranking back, starting in Miami next week.

"Is it better to be number one for, let’s say one week in your life, or never touch it?" he said. "I think it's still better to at least touch it.

"Now I know I'm going to lose it, so I have Miami to try to get it back. [I'm] usually feeling a little bit better in Miami in terms of tennis, so I'll try to play good there.

"I thought it could give me more motivation, well, I had motivation. It's just that I didn't find my best tennis."

Rafael Nadal offered his sympathy to Sebastian Korda after scraping past the 21-year-old, who considers his Indian Wells Masters opponent "my biggest idol".

Korda had trained with Nadal earlier this week before the draw paired the two together – an eagerly awaited encounter for the younger man.

Korda is such a big Nadal fan his cat is named after the Spaniard, but he caused some concern for the 21-time major champion and his other supporters on Saturday.

Having talked up the meeting, it looked as though the occasion might get the better of Korda as he quickly fell 4-0 down in the opener.

Nadal had not dropped a set since victory at the Australian Open – one of three tournaments he has entered this year and three tournaments he has won.

But that perfect 15-0 record suddenly came under threat in the second set, as Korda sought to prolong his dream match-up and stunned his hero 6-1.

Suddenly, Nadal was forced to face down one of his biggest fans in a decider and initially struggled badly, falling two breaks down, with Korda serving for the match at 5-2.

This time the nerves did get to Korda, who lost four games in a row before stopping the rot to reach a tie-break.

There, Korda did briefly hold a mini-break lead, but that was only as part of a sequence of five consecutive mini-breaks that took the match away from him, Nadal prevailing 6-2 1-6 7-6 (7-3).

"I feel very, very lucky today to be through, honestly," Nadal said afterwards.

Korda could at least enjoy his consolation prize: compliments from Nadal, who had won their only prior meeting en route to his 2020 French Open title.

"Sebastian was playing some fantastic tennis and I'm sorry for him," Nadal said. "He had chances, but that's tennis.

"He's very young, he has an amazing future. I wish him all the best."

Up next for Nadal is Dan Evans, whose compatriot Cameron Norrie – the defending Indian Wells champion – also advanced with a straight-sets win over Pedro Martinez.

Daniil Medvedev has officially been crowned as the ATP's new world number one.

The Russian, who claimed his first grand slam title at the US Open last year and reached this year's Australian Open final, only to lose to Rafael Nadal, has been sure of his place at the top of the rankings since Novak Djokovic's shock defeat to Jiri Vesely in the Dubai Tennis Championships last week.

Medvedev was aiming to cap off a sensational week by claiming victory at the Mexican Open, but the 26-year-old lost to eventual champion Nadal in the semi-finals in Acapulco.

Here, Stats Perform looks at the numbers behind Medvedev's rise to number one.

1 - Medvedev is the first player outside of the "big four" of Djokovic, Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray to be crowned number one since Andy Roddick, way back on February 1, 2004 (18 years, three weeks and six days).

198 - At 198cm in height, Medvedev is the tallest player to be crowned world number one.

13 - Medvedev has won 13 Tour-level titles so far.

27 - He is the 27th different ATP world number one. The first was Ilie Nastase, in August 1973.

3 - Medvedev is the third Russian player to reach the top of the ATP rankings, after Yevgeny Kafelnikov (May 1999) and Marat Safin (November 2000).

6 - At 26, Medvedev is the sixth-oldest player to become world number one for the first time in their career.

361 - Djokovic has held the number one spot for 361 weeks in total – a record. It had been 86 weeks since the Serbian was last not at the top of the pile.

Rafael Nadal said he will not measure himself against other players' records until his career is over after adding another trophy to his impressive collection, beating Cameron Norrie in straight sets to lift the Mexican Open.

Nadal continued his undefeated start to 2022 with his third title for the year after beating the British sixth seed 6-4 6-4 in Acapulco on Saturday.

He is now on a run of 15-0 this season, claiming his 91st ATP Tour crown along the way.

It was also Nadal's fourth Mexican Open title, having previously won in 2005, 2013 and 2020.

His recent win at the Australian Open put him clear of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer on 21 grand slam titles, but he still sits behind Ivan Lendl (94), Federer (103) and Jimmy Connors (109) for ATP tournament victories.

After his win in Mexico, Nadal said he is not concerned about records as long as he is still playing, saying: "At the end of the day, I've always said that this kind of record needs to be measured once your career is over.

"Today the most important thing is that I have won a prestigious tournament."

The 35-year-old's incredible form is all the more impressive considering he was forced to miss last year's US Open to deal with a foot issue that troubled him all the way to the lead-up to January's Australian Open.

"It was complicated, and I ended up taking the victory. Looking back, a few weeks ago this would have looked impossible," he added.

"It's amazing how things can change in such a short span, from not being able to practice and now to be where I am today."

Rafael Nadal continued his remarkable start to 2022 with his third title for the year after beating British sixth seed Cameron Norrie 6-4 6-4 in the Mexican Open final in Acapulco on Saturday.

The 21-time major winner extended his 15-0 winning run for the calendar year, claiming his 91st ATP Tour crown along the way. The triumph was also Nadal's fourth Mexican Open title, having also won in 2005, 2013 and 2020.

Nadal, who beat new world number one Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals and did not drop a set in Acapulco, won in one hour and 54 minutes over a dogged Norrie.

The 35-year-old's achievements are all the more remarkable considering he was forced to miss last year's US Open to deal with a foot issue which troubled him all the way to the lead-up to January's Australian Open.

Norrie pushed the Spaniard, breaking back late in the second set when trailing 5-2, but the defeat ends his eight-game winning streak after lifting the Delray Beach Open title last week.

The Spaniard made 79 per cent of first serves, winning 71 per cent on them, while he converted four of his five break points for the match in typical ruthless fashion.

Nadal claimed the only break of the first set in the fifth game, capitalising on a trio of misses from Norrie.

Both players broke serve early in the second set, with Norrie leading 2-1 before Nadal rattled off four straight games to serve for the crown.

However, Norrie was not done yet, breaking back and holding serve, before the Spaniard finished the job in his 128th appearance in an ATP decider.

Rafael Nadal continued his tremendous form as he beat Daniil Medvedev in straight sets to set up a final with Cameron Norrie at the Mexican Open.

Nadal found this victory over Medvedev to be more straightforward than his remarkable five-set comeback win in last month's Australian Open final between the pair, winning 6-3 6-3 in Acapulco.

The victory means the Spaniard moves on to 14-0 for the new season, which is already his best ever start to a year.

The soon-to-be world number one Medvedev at least made him work for it in the second set and earned 11 break points across two consecutive service games, but a determined Nadal rescued all 11 of them, including seven in a marathon nine-deuce game at 6-3 3-2.

"I played some amazing points on the break points," said Nadal following the win. "The second set was very emotional. Daniil was playing very aggressive – drop shots, winners. It was a very difficult set. I feel lucky to win that set because he had a lot of chances."

He will now face sixth seed Norrie on Sunday, who also came through his semi-final against third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets, 6-4 6-4.

The Brit – who won the Delray Beach Open last week – was particularly impressive on his serve, making 92 per cent of his first serves in the opening set. That dropped to 57 per cent in the second, but the quality of his baseline shots took him to victory.

Meanwhile at the Chile Open, local wildcard Alejandro Tabilo continued his good run, having already knocked out top seed Cristian Garin, with a 6-1 6-4 win over sixth seed Miomir Kecmanovic.

Tabilo will face Pedro Martinez in the semi-finals after the Spaniard won 6-2 6-2 over Yannick Hanfmann.

Sebastian Baez will meet second seed Albert Ramos Vinolas in the other semi-final after he got past Facundo Bagnis 7-5 6-2.

New world number one Daniil Medvedev says Friday's Mexican Open semi-final against Rafael Nadal is his "chance to get my revenge" after last month's epic Australian Open defeat.

Medvedev progressed to the final four in Acapulco on Thursday with a routine 6-2 6-3 victory over Yoshihito Nishioka, while Nadal triumphed 6-0 7-6 (7-5) over Tommy Paul to set up their semi-final meeting.

The Russian's win capped a fine day after Novak Djokovic's loss to Jiri Vesely at the Dubai Tennis Championships meant he would next week become the new world number one for the first time in his career.

Before then, however, Medvedev must take on Nadal in Acapulco, with the pair having not faced off since last month's epic Australian Open decider, where the Spanish fought back from two set downs to clinch a record-breaking 21st major title.

"It’s always special to play against him,” Medvedev said following his win over Nishioka. “Kind of a chance to get my revenge.

“I have to learn from the best, which is him, Roger [Federer], Novak [Djokovic], Andy [Murray]. Always when they were losing a tough fight, they were trying to get their revenge. Sometimes they managed to do it, sometimes not. That’s what I’m going to try to do if I play Rafa."

Medvedev revealed he did not realise that Djokovic's loss would mean he would become number one until he started receiving congratulatory messages on Thursday.

"It’s not easy to play a match when you get this news during the day," Medvedev said.

"The first goal for me was to still win today because I’m here to try to win every match I play. But it’s definitely some great news."

Nadal was full of praise for the new world number one, admitting his excitement at their re-match.

The Spaniard prevailed in five hours and 28 minutes over Medvedev in Melbourne, winning 2-6 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-4 7-5 and was ready for the re-match.

"Everybody knows how difficult it is to play against Daniil," Nadal said after Thursday's win over Paul.

"I know I have to play at my highest level if I want to have any chance, and that's what I'm going to try. I have to play my game.

"Everybody knows how difficult the final was in Australia. Tomorrow is going to be another battle.

"I know he's playing well, plenty of confidence... I am excited to play that match."

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