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Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

ATP Finals 2022: Rafael Nadal vs. Taylor Fritz Tennis Pick and Prediction

TennisSection previews the 2022 Nitto ATP Finals as Rafael Nadal takes on Taylor Fritz in the Group Stage on Sunday, November 13th, 2022.

Rafael Nadal begins his 2022 Nitto ATP Finals campaign against a familiar name in Taylor Fritz. The American has been a thorn in his game this season, beating him in the Indian Wells final and running him close at Wimbledon. Will Nadal lay down a marker or will Fritz strike again?

Rafael Nadal has won every title at the top level bar the Nitto ATP Finals. The great Spaniard has come close on multiple occasions, losing to Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic at the final hurdle. He is probably the best player yet to win the season-ending championships. He’s also been extremely unfortunate to miss out in previous editions due to injuries. Nadal, once again, arrives in Turin with a cloud of uncertainty regarding his health. 2022 has been a roller-coaster year for the 36-year-old who won his 21st and 22nd Grand Slam crowns, but also limited to 11 tournaments of play. Defeat to Tommy Paul in Bercy posed more questions rather than answers regarding his fitness, and he could be vulnerable to another early defeat against Taylor Fritz on Sunday.

Taylor Fritz qualified for his maiden Nitto ATP Finals following the withdrawal of world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz. Even without the ATP Finals appearance, this would still have been a barnstorming year for the American No. 1 who was head and shoulders above his compatriots in 2022. Fritz won his biggest title to date at the Indian Wells Masters earlier this season, with a stunning victory over Rafael Nadal in the final. He bagged a couple more titles in Eastbourne and Tokyo, and reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals where he incidentally lost to Nadal. 

Rafael Nadal leads Taylor Fritz 2-1 in their head-to-head meetings. Fritz ended the Spaniard’s 21-match win streak when they clashed in the Indian Wells final. The American was apparently carrying an ankle injury in that match after hurting himself in the semifinal and subsequently aborted his practice session before the final. That didn’t matter in the end as a taped-up Fritz produced a serving masterclass to take down the indefatigable Spaniard. It was a case of déjà vu at Wimbledon, this time Nadal fighting pleas to quit due to an abdominal tear, and going on to defeat Fritz in five. That match took a huge chunk of Nadal’s resolve and he is a pedestrian 3-3 since. Fritz has a decent chance of upsetting the apple cart here. Indoor hard is hardly Nadal’s best surface. The American’s serve remains a massive weapon and Nadal’s doesn’t have many options at his disposal to counter it on this slick, fast surface.

Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Taylor Fritz in 3 Sets.

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