Taylor Fritz nearly didn’t take the court Sunday against Rafael Nadal in the final of the BNP Paribas Open. He hurt his right ankle in Saturday’s semifinal and aggravated the injury during his warmup session Sunday morning, a few hours prior to the biggest match of his career.

But instead of withdrawing, the 24-year-old Rancho Santa Fe native opted to give the ankle a try against Nadal. That decision turned out to be the right one.

Fritz won the first four games of the first set and, with the momentum in his favor, beat the 21-time Grand Slam champion, 6-3, 7-6(5), to become the first American to win an Indian Wells singles title since Andre Agassi in 2001.

“I can’t even begin to describe how ridiculous it is that I was able to play,” Fritz said. “I’ve never experienced worse pain in my life before a match.”