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Rafael Nadal Finishes Fritz in Tiebreak After Heroic Five-Set Match

Rafael Nadal is one step closer to achieving the calendar Grand Slam as he reaches his eighth Wimbledon semifinal after beating American Taylor Fritz 3–6, 7–5, 3–6, 7–5, 7–6(4) on Tuesday.

Despite taking a medical timeout due to an abdominal issue, the 36-year-old was able to outlast the 24-year-old in the over four-hour match on Centre Court. He will go on to face Nick Kyrgios in the semifinal on Friday.

Nadal already became the record holder for most men’s tennis Grand Slam titles in history with 22. He won this year’s Australian Open and French Open already, meaning he would need just a Wimbledon and U.S. Open title to complete the historic calendar run, which has only been achieved by five previous tennis players. His 2022 Grand Slam record is now 19–0, the second-longest streak in his major career.

The Spaniard previously won Wimbledon in 2008 and ’10.

After taking a 3–1 lead, Nadal then lost the next five games to Fritz as the American took the first set 6–3. 

The Spaniard came out powerful in the second set winning the first three games. Fritz followed suit by winning the next three games. After Nadal’s 4–3 lead, he was looked at by a trainer for an abdominal issue. After a few minutes, he returned to court and captured the second set 7–5.

The third set was similar to the first, as the two battled back and forth before Fritz won 6–3, taking a 2–1 set lead over the 22-time Grand Slam champion.

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Nadal continued to dominate in the fourth set as he took a 3–1 lead. However, the 24-year-old came back to tie the set 5–5. Nadal was able to avoid tiebreak in another set by winning 7–5.

The fifth and final set was once again a back-and-forth, although both players broke each other once. The final set ended up going to tiebreak, which is played until one player reaches 10 points in the last set.

Nadal again dominated by going 5–0 to begin, then held Fritz off to grab the final set with a 10–4 tiebreak win.

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