Rafael Nadal has won almost every notable title in our sport. The Spaniard is missing out on the ATP Finals trophy, chasing it since 2006 but never making it all the way. Rafa lost the finals in London in 2010 and 2013 to Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, with a couple more semi-final appearances.
Nadal has qualified for the ATP Finals for the 17th time and will debut in Turin in November. Speaking about Rafa’s journey to the ATP Finals, his coach Carlos Moya said that he was close to the title in 2020, feeling good on the court and serving for victory against Daniil Medvedev in the semi-final.
Rafa led 6-3, 5-4 against Daniil and had a chance to seal the deal on serve in game 10. Instead, Medvedev bounced back and scored a 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 win in two hours and 35 minutes for a place in the title clash! Daniil shot 42 game winners and 29 unforced errors, leaving Rafa at 22-30.
The Russian carved out the lead in the later rallies and saved his best tennis from the last four matches to stay in the title race. Nadal fended off three break points in the third game of the opener to avoid an early setback.
Daniil secured the result for the third time in game six, doing his best to keep in touch with the Spaniard from the baseline. Medvedev lost ground at 3-4 and sprayed a forehand error to suffer a break at love. Rafa gained a push and secured the set on his serve in the next one.
Daniil was the most aggressive player in set number two, hitting 21 game winners and ten unforced errors and opening a 4-1 gap. The younger rival won 12 of the initial 13 points and secured a break in the second game after the Spaniard’s double fault.
Carlos Moya shared his thoughts on Rafael Nadal’s ATP Finals run.
Medvedev hit an ace in game five and created a break chance in the next that could have sent him further down the line. Nadal saved it and recovered the break with a forehand winner in game seven to reduce the deficit.
Rafa held at 15 to level the score at 4-4 and delivered another break in game nine to take four straight games and serve for the win at 5-4. Rather than bring the match home in an hour and a half, the Spaniard suffered a costly breakup to keep Medvedev in contention.
The Russian gained momentum and secured a 7-4 tie break to force a decider. A big winner secured a break for Daniil at 3-3 to give him momentum. He cemented the lead with a solid forehand attack a few minutes later. Medvedev produced the second return game at 5-3 to break Nadal’s resistance and advance to the title clash.
«It would be nice if Rafa could win the ATP Finals. He came close to fighting for the title in 2020, losing to Daniil Medvedev in the semi-final. Rafa served for the 5-4 victory in the second set, and that was the best chance he had.» had because of how he played and felt on the court. It would be wonderful if he could win it this year,» Carlos Moya said.