13-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal has won almost everything that’s there to achieve in the game. One of the few things missing from his trophy cabinet is the ATP World Tour Finals trophy. Nadal has suffered considerably at this tournament.
It’s very hard to find weaknesses in an athlete of the Spaniard’s quality. Over the years, he has had a bad track record on indoor surfaces. The first and only title won by Rafa in an indoor environment was at the Madrid Masters 2005 hardcourt event.
Not so long ago, former World No. 5 Daniela Hantuchova spoke about Rafa’s ATP Finals title issue and said, “I think this is the title that he’s missing and he wants people to stop talking about it. But at the same time, I think he’s accepting that if it doesn’t happen to him then he’s still going to retire being very happy. So he’s not going to be losing any sleep over this title.”
Bad fortune for Rafael Nadal at ATP Finals
Nadal has never had a good run of luck coming into this event. He has made it to finals only on two occasions, which according to his standards is poor. The Olympic Gold Medalist has been forced to withdraw from this event a staggering six times, often citing injuries.
During this time in the season, with Rafa’s style of play, exhaustion would be an occurrence. With each year passing, fans would expect it to be the year Nadal would end his drought.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner cruised in his opening round-robin match against the impressive Russian Andrey Rublev, winning 6-3 6-4. However, he did suffer a setback losing to Dominic Thiem 7-6 7-6 in one of the best matches played at this event in a long time. The Spaniard now takes on the defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas in a must-win game in order to qualify for the semi-finals.