Rafael Nadal Moves Into Top 5 as Matteo Berrettini Exits Indian Wells 2021 Following Loss to Taylor Fritz

Published 10/12/2021, 3:37 PM EDT
Aug 5, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after a play against Lloyd Harris of South Africa (not pictured) during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports


Possessing an accurate serve and a heavy forehand, Matteo Berrettini was expected to make his mark at slams very early into his career. But it has taken the Italian some time to be in the same ranks as his peers, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

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However, Berrettini saw success at slams this year as he reached the finals of Wimbledon Championships and also managed to make it to the quarters at the US Open. Matteo lost both these encounters to World No.1, Novak Djokovic.

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Matteo Berrettini loses to Taylor Fritz at Indian Wells 2021

Coming to the Indian Wells Masters, the Italian managed to reach the third round after a straight-sets victory over Alejandro Tabilo. In the round of 32, Berrettini faced the American Taylor Fritz.

Fritz had put up commendable performances against top-tier players at big tournaments and even made a comeback post a surgery to his right knee to play the US hard-court season.

Fritz and Berrettini faced each other once before at the Davis Cup two years ago, where the Italian won the contest. Even against the Italian today, Fritz played top-notch tennis and took advantage of Berrettini’s struggling first-serve.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 10, 2021 Taylor Fritz of the U.S. in action during his first round match against Britain’s Dan Evans REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

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The Italian, who usually dominates through his first-serve couldn’t find his groove today and the conditions at Indian Wells didn’t allow him to play his usual game.

As a result, Berrettini lost the first set and even fell behind the score line in the second. Fritz’s accurate serve and all-round baseline game turned out to be successful in the end as he defeated the Italian in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.

Sep 2, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Matteo Berrettini of Italy hits to Corentin Moutet of France on day four of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Rafael Nadal benefits from Berrettini’s loss to Fritz

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A rather surprising defeat from Berrettini will force a dip in his ranking points in the updated results to be released next Monday. However, the Italian’s downfall will benefit Rafael Nadal as he might enter the top-5 once again after falling out of the same last month.

Aug 5, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a forehand against Lloyd Harris of South Africa (not pictured) during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the Spaniard might drop to seventh or eighth position owing to the performance of Berrettini at Paris Masters and World tour finals, for the time being, Nadal will enter the top-5 once again on Monday.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

469 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Sagar has completed his graduation in Electronics and Communication Engineering.

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