Rafael Nadal qualified for the ATP Finals for the first time in 2005. The Spaniard never claimed the prestigious title, struggling to play his best indoors in the closing stages of the season. Rafa has qualified for another edition of the ATP Finals in Turin, but his title chances are slim in a couple of weeks.
The Spaniard has been dealing with an abdominal injury since July, pulling out before the Wimbledon semi-final and playing just six matches since then! Despite that, the winner of 22 Majors will travel to Turin and give his best to achieve a good result.
Nadal experienced an early loss at the Paris Masters and will travel to Italy early to prepare and get used to the court. Nadal suffered a 3-6, 7-6, 6-1 loss to Tommy Paul in the second round of the Paris Masters, he played his first match as his father and ended up on the losing side.
Rafa held a set and break lead before Tommy erased the deficit, prevailing in the second set and dominating the decider for the best victory of his career. Nadal did not look good in the final set, struggling physically and gathering dark clouds over his next tournament after losing serve three times.
Rafael Nadal will do his best at the ATP Finals in Turin.
Paul served at 57% and experienced three breaks to find himself in a challenging position early on. The American converted 42% of return points in five breaks that took him to the finish line.
Tommy had 29 winners and 27 unforced errors, he tamed his shots very well and attacked the net. He took advantage of Rafa’s 35 unforced errors and forced a decider, where it was all about him. Paul played very well at net and built the advantage at the shorter range of up to four strokes, thanks to his aggressive approach.
Getting into a good rhythm after getting the break back, Tommy claimed the second set tie break 7-4 after forcing Rafa’s error and got a big boost. Nadal hit a routine forehand to lose serve early in the final set and missed his chance to win it back in the fourth game.
The Spaniard made a volleying error in game five to lose serve, playing out of energy and struggling to move. Paul delivered his third break of the set at 5-1 and emerged on top with a volley winner for the best victory of his career.
«I need days on the Tour after not spending enough time on the pitch for the last five months. It’s about more than just playing matches, but practicing with the guys, missing that too. If everything goes well and I feel good, I’ll travel. to Turin a little earlier than usual and embrace the practice sessions,» Rafael Nadal said.