Taylor Fritz began his first-ever ATP Finals tournament with an upset win over 22-time Grandslam winner Rafael Nadal while Casper Ruud continued his most successful year going with a win over Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Auger-Aliassime showed flashes of his talent by firing 26 winners past world number four Ruud but they were offset by his 26 unforced errors as Ruud did not face a single break point in the match as he beat the Canadian for the second time this year.
The bigger story came after their match as Taylor Fritz, making his ATP Finals debut, defeated Rafael Nadal 7-6(3) 6-1 as the Spaniard’s lack of match practice caught up with him once again.
Neither player dropped their serve in the first set but Nadal dropped the first three points of the tiebreak and never recovered with Fritz breaking him early for a 3-1 lead before going on to win the match.
With the win, Fritz managed to get his first victory over a top-three opponent in 12 attempts and improved him to 2-2 in head-to-head meetings with Nadal after also halting his best start to the season at Indian Wells in March.
The American is only in the tournament after Carlos Alcaraz dropped out due to injury.