Taylor Fritz admitted that a serious ankle injury ahead of his 2022 Indian Wells Masters final against Rafael Nadal helped him approach the match a lot more freely and with the attitude of having ‘nothing to lose.’ That, in turn, ensured that the California native played his best tennis to beat the legendary Spaniard and clinch his maiden Masters 1000 title in his home ATP Masters tournament.

Fritz, beating the odds in light of the injury and thus beating Nadal to clinch the biggest title of his career so far, was also in focus on one of the episodes of the recent Netflix tennis show titled Break Point.

The current world No. 7 recently looked back upon his injury, detailing the events leading up to the match, and also explaining why it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, of sorts, in the big final.

Speaking about his mindset during the match, while knowing how bad his ankle injury really was, Fritz said that playing the match after being on the verge of pulling out altogether helped his mental approach for the final. He also clarified that while he never fakes injuries, being portrayed as injured going into a match has a tendency to take the pressure off players.

“It helped me on the court. I knew I had absolutely nothing to lose, for sure,” Taylor Fritz said during an interview on the ‘Break Point: A Netflix Recap Show’ podcast.

“Being injured or people thinking you’re injured when you’re not, it depressurizes you. Some people might do it on purpose, I absolutely don’t.”

Fritz entered the match with the intention of just going for his shots and it paid off for the youngster.

“I had a serious injury and I didn’t think I was going to play. It definitely loosened me up and I was like, who cares? I’m injured and let’s go out there and do what I can,” he added on the same.

Reflecting on the origin if his ankle injury, the American No. 1 said that it first surfaced during his semi-final against Andrey Rublev. While many believe that he felt the problem for the first time only on the morning of the final against Nadal, Fritz felt discomfort in his ankle during one particular rally in the semi-final.

He revealed that he even called for the trainer to get immediate treatment, but he did not eventually need it as he sealed victory in the next game itself. He then decided to “sleep on” the injury, before realizing how bad it was when he woke up the next morning.

“The morning of (the final) was when I was like, I don’t think I can play,” Taylor Fritz stated.

“Sometimes you tweak something and you have a weird injury, you just sleep on it and the next day, it’s gone. Sometimes that happens and that happens quite a bit to me.”

“I just felt the sharpest pain and I screamed” – Taylor Fritz recounts challenges just moments before Indian Wells final

Even on the morning of the final, Fritz did not realize how bad the injury was until he began his pre-match warmup. The first time he even applied a little bit of pressure on his ankle while playing a shot, the 25-year-old felt excruciating pain and immediately knew that his participation in the final was hanging by a thread.

“We get on the court and start the warm-up and the first step that I take where I laterally push off the ankle,” Taylor Fritz explained.

“I just felt the sharpest pain and I screamed. I went to the ground and I was like, this is awful.”

He also conveyed that he tried to endure the pain and repeatedly tried to fend off the injury during the warmup, something that was not shown on the Netflix show, but the problem was serious enough for him to consider a last-minute withdrawal. Taylor Fritz then clinched the title with a straight-sets win over Nadal, who was also struggling with a rib injury.