BNP Paribas Open—Indian Wells, California
Local favourite Taylor Fritz captured the biggest title of his career on Sunday at the BNP Paribas Open, defeating 21-time Major winner Rafael Nadal 6-3, 7-6(5).
Needing two hours and six minutes to seal his victory, Fritz struck one ace, won 69 percent of his first serve points and broke serve on four occasions.
Dispatching Carlos Alcaraz and Nick Kyrgios earlier in the event, Nadal looked visibly hobbled throughout the encounter. The Spaniard will move up to No. 3 in the world on Monday.
Nadal entered the final on a 20 match winning streak, including titles at the Australian Open, Acapulco 500 event and Melbourne warm up before the year’s first Major. It’s Nadal best start to a season since he turned pro in 2001.
Tying his head-to-head with Nadal at 1-1, Fritz dispatched Andrey Rublev in the semifinals.
The 24-year-old, who was born in Rancho Santa Fe, CA, will move up to No. 13 in the world on Monday.
Nadal will next see action at the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters, and Fritz will look to keep his momentum going at the Miami Open next week.
Earlier in the day, former French Open winner Iga Swiatek captured the women’s title over No. 6 seed Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-1.
In a match that featured two players that move beautifully around the court, it was Swiatek who imposed her more versatile game early and often. Striking two aces and breaking serve on six occasions, Swiatek improved to 2-3 against Sakkari in lifetime meetings.
Moving up to No. 2 in the world as a result of her victory, Swiatek will next see action at the Miami Open in Florida.
Sakkari, who was aiming to win the biggest title of her career, dismissed depending champion Paula Badosa in the semifinals and former Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova earlier in the tournament.