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Taylor Fritz Almost Beat Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon. The Loss Still Hurts.

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Taylor Fritz leaned across the long table, his cheeks cupped in his hands, his face flushed with exhaustion and emotion.

It was not long after Fritz had lost a four-hour, 21-minute Wimbledon quarterfinal to Rafael Nadal in July — a match that featured a fifth-set super tiebreaker along with a medical timeout to are likely to Nadal’s torn abdominal muscle — and the magnitude of Fritz’s heartbreak engulfed the room.

“I actually, really wanted this match,” Fritz said on the time. “I used to be sitting there and felt like crying. I’ve never felt like that after a loss.”

Six weeks later, the loss still stung.

“Those sorts of matches hurt probably the most to lose,” Fritz said by phone just before the beginning of the USA Open. “It was my first major quarterfinal, so I needed to take a step back and take a look at the positives. I used to be so close, so perhaps next time I’ll get it.”

Fritz has been highly considered since he won the Junior U.S. Open in 2015. His mother, Kathy May, was ranked No. 10 on the earth in 1977 and his father, Guy, is a coach.

This yr has been up and down for Fritz. The Californian, 24, is the top-ranked American male and No. 12 on the earth. In March, he won his first ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Indian Wells, beating Nadal in the ultimate.

But just when he thought he was on target to win a significant, Fritz was upset in the primary round of the U.S. Open by the qualifier Brandon Holt, ranked No. 303 on the time. Fritz has also been nursing an ankle injury but is confident it won’t be a problem when he plays for Team World on the Laver Cup, which begins on Friday in London.

The next conversation has been edited and condensed.

The last time you played Laver Cup, in 2019, you lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas and beat Dominic Thiem. What brought you back now?

I might have played each yr if I used to be invited to be on the team. It’s an honor to represent Team World and it’s such a fun, amazing event. Just the energy, it’s tough to search out at anything just like the team competition.

What’s going to or not it’s like playing against Team Europe? It’s a fairly stacked team, with Roger Federer, Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Casper Ruud and Tsitsipas.

I stay up for it. I believe that on any given day I can beat anybody, and that’s what the team goes to be asking of me, so I’m ready.

You’ve talked quite a bit about innate confidence. Where does that come from?

It’s just something I’ve all the time had. I’ve all the time felt that how will you ever succeed and be the most effective for those who don’t consider that?

Do you’ve got a sports idol outside of tennis?

Yeah, an enormous role model of mine is [the soccer star Cristiano] Ronaldo. His work ethic really made me a fan.

Who would your ideal mixed doubles partner be?

I suppose I’d must say my mom.

What’s an important thing she taught you?

Probably simply to rejoice with it and never take the whole lot so seriously. My dad was way more into all of the coaching and tennis stuff. My mom was more relaxed about all of it.

By way of coaching, the smarter players are those who wish to figure it out for themselves. Do you place yourself in that category?

Absolutely, with regards to being analytical and strategic on the court and determining what the opponent is doing, I feel like my tennis I.Q. is basically high. I believe it’s considered one of my best assets.

You were 18 if you got married and had a son very young. Does Jordan understand who you might be and what you do?

Yeah, he’s 5 and he knows what I do. He’s pretty disenchanted after I tell him that I’m actually not the most effective tennis player on the earth. He sort of expects that, so it’s tough to impress him.

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