Rafael Nadal says he is expects Taylor Fritz to play with plenty of aggression when the two meet in the Indian Wells final on Sunday.
Nadal secured his place in the final by beating compatriot Carlos Alcaraz in three sets, while Fritz edged out Andrey Rublev in two to reach his maiden Masters final.
Nadal has dropped three sets en route to the final in the California desert and is expecting the 24-year-old to give him a tough test.
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“Being in the final here in Indian Wells means a lot to me,” Nadal said after beating Alcaraz in three hours and 12 minutes.
“[It] is a very special place. A match like today helps for the confidence. I know I will need to be ready physically and mentally, in terms of playing at a very high level of tennis because he's playing well.
"[Fritz played a] super aggressive match against a very difficult player to play like Rublev.
"I think he played with great determination and very aggressively. I saw a lot of the match and he played very well."
Nadal and Fritz have met only once on the ATP tour before and that was in the Mexican Open final in 2020 which the Spaniard won 6-3 6-2.
Highlights: Fritz stuns Rublev to reach Indian Wells final
Fritz, who is bidding to become the first American man to lift the Indian Wells trophy since Andre Agassi in 2001, believes he now faces the 21-time Grand Slam winner as a much improved player.
"It doesn't even seem real," he said after beating Rublev in one hour and 47 minutes.
"I'm just trying to take in the moment, regroup and come back tomorrow for the final. But it's a dream come true.
"These moments are the reason why I wanted to be an athlete, wanted to play professional tennis. It's the best part of it all."
He added: “I remember I felt he played high spinny balls to me [in Mexico] and almost gave me a lot of forehands in my favourite spot at shoulder height.
“I think he just kept doing it until I missed eventually. I kind of beat myself trying to fire off winners against him.
"I think my level is so much higher than then, so I won't be feeling I need to pull the trigger so much. I can kind of play more within myself.”
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