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"It's tough to breathe": Rafael Nadal after losing to Taylor Fritz at the Indian Wells final

Rafael Nadal's winning streak of 20 matches was brought to a halt with Taylor Fritz upsetting him in the finals of the Indian Wells. Nadal opened up on his health troubles post-match.

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal (Source: Getty)


The Bridge Desk

Published: 21 March 2022 6:55 AM GMT

Rafael Nadal was practically unbeatable for the better part of the first three months of 2022 and the Spaniard with 21 Grand Slam titles to his name had a 20 match-winning streak going on till Taylor Fritz brought it to a halt with an emphatic win at the Indian Wells final.

Revealing in the post-match conference, the 35-year-old mentioned that he has been suffering from breathing trouble lately, which was a slight factor in his performance against Taylor Fritz who went on to bag his career's first Masters title in epic style, winning 6-3, 7-6(5) and becoming the first American to win the competition since Andre Agassi in 2001.

Having come into the finals after fighting off a persistent Carlos Alcaraz in a thrilling three-setter, Rafael Nadal mentioned that his chest problem started occurring right after that semi-final clash against the teenager from Spain. All in all, Nadal has had to dig deep to maintain that 20 match-winning streak and naturally, it has taken a toll on his body and he wasn't at his fittest against Fritz. However, Nadal repeatedly emphasised that Fritz is a "great player" and did not factor in his breathing troubles as an excuse.

Giving details about this problem, Nadal said, "Honestly, it happened yesterday night. Just at the end of the match, last night, so I finished that late yesterday and was playing today in the morning. As you can imagine, I didn't have a chance to do many things, and not even a chance to check what's going on there. But that's it, all that I can say is that it's tough to breathe," the 21-time Grand Slam champion explained.

Taylor Fritz won his first Masters title on home soil by upsetting Rafa Nadal's winning streak (Source: Getty)

Continuing on the same strand, Nadal added, "When I try to breathe, it's painful and it's very uncomfortable. But that's it, it's not a moment to talk about that even if it's obvious that I wasn't able to do the normal things today. It's the final, I tried, I lost against a great player," Nadal admitted, heaping praises on Fritz.

Confessing about how he felt during the finals, Nadal said, "I had pain. Honestly, it's tough to as I said, I had problems to breathe because I don't know if it's something on the rib. I am not sure yet but when I am breathing and when I am breathing it's like a needle all the time inside here. I get dizzy little bit because it's painful."

After a gruelling week, Rafael Nadal will be skipping the Miami Open to take rest, work on these issues and prepare for the clay swing that will start from April.

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