Fritz put an end to Nadal’s unbeaten start to 2022 with a 6-3 7-6 win over the Spaniard.
The 24-year-old had been struggling with an ankle injury that he picked up in his semi-final win, but showed no signs of letting up in the biggest game of his career.
Fritz’s title-winning endeavour at Indian Wells makes him the first American to win this the tournament since Andre Agassi in 2001. He now ranks at number eight in the world.
“This is just one of those childhood dreams – winning this tournament especially, Indian Wells – this is one of those childhood dreams that you never even think could come true,” Fritz said in his on-court interview.
“I’ve lost these matches against the big guys my whole life, it’s always felt like they’re just unbeatable, so to do it on the biggest stage there’s no other way, you know. To win a big title, I feel like you gotta beat the best and he’s unbeaten this year, and obviously, I hope he’s okay.”
“I can’t imagine how the [Nadal’s] body is feeling after 20-something matches.”