Last night we saw Dominic Thiem outshine Rafael Nadal in an epic clash at ATP Finals 2020. It was indeed a tough loss for Rafa who surrendered in straight sets. Naturally, Rafa went ahead with intense practice the very next day, but he playfully denied Thiem access when he entered the court for training!
The participants at ATP Finals 2020 are awarded time slots to engage in practice with their coaches or other partners. Likewise, Thiem entered the practice court for his slot when Rafa Nadal was training fiercely.
But as the Austrian walked past Nadal, the 33-year-old gleefully mentioned that he didn’t have to practice. “You don’t need to practice today,” said Nadal while smashing forehands. Both players shared a smile which indeed made our day. We’re sure it would make yours too! Watch it below:
Rafa says not today Domi 😂@RafaelNadal @ThiemDomi #NittoATPFinals pic.twitter.com/k9TtevfsoJ
— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 18, 2020
This incident happened after Nadal’s loss to Thiem so one can understand the Spaniard’s feelings. He tried to the maximum extent, but the 2020 US Open champ just looked unbreakable on the night.
🎾 Thiem wins the group & advances to the semi-finals
🎾 Rublev is eliminated from contention
🎾 Nadal & Tsitsipas will play for the second semi-final spot#NittoATPFinals pic.twitter.com/iMDr97RHf3
— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 17, 2020
Rafael Nadal said Thiem damaged him at ATP Finals
Rafael Nadal was never the favorite heading into the match against Thiem. The reason is obvious as he’s never been able to replicate his top form when it comes to indoor hardcourts. It once again proved to be a major factor as Thiem steamrolled past the 13x Roland Garros champ.
Nadal was ineffective against Thiem’s large serves and the Austrian even mentioned that it might be the most important stroke in indoor tennis. However, the game went on equal footing for most parts, and 33-year-old Nadal acknowledged it.
“He created damage on me with his general game and I created damage on his as well. He wasn’t the better player and I wasn’t the better player — He deserves the victory because he played the big points very well,” he mentioned.
There was mutual credit between both athletes for testing each other to the limit. But as Thiem iterates, the one with the better luck always wins! In this case, it was the Austrian who claimed victory to improve his record to 2-0 in the round-robin.