Rafael Nadal ended the season with a win at the ATP Finals. Nadal defeated Casper Ruud 7-5 7-5 in the last round of 16 match to end his four-match losing streak. In addition, it was Rafa’s first victory as a father , who welcomed his son Rafael in October and needed 40 days to celebrate the first victory with a new member of the family.
Nadal suffered an abdominal injury at Wimbledon, reaching the semi-final before retiring before the clash with Nick Kyrgios. The Spaniard only played one match before the US Open and was unable to play injury-free in New York.
Rafa fell to Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round and was away from the courts for almost two months. Nadal knew that he could not expect much during the indoor tour in Paris and Turin, struggling to find form after such a long break and losing four matches in a row for the first time since 2009.
Rafa fell to Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger-Aliassime in the ATP Finals before facing Casper Ruud in the last meeting of the season. Eager to end the losing streak and gain some momentum heading into 2023, the Spaniard beat the Norwegian 7-5 7- 5 in one hour and 42 minutes.
Rafa took advantage of the fast indoor court to fire 16 aces (five in a row, probably for the first time in his career), conceding just 11 points after the initial blow and saving two break points. Casper faced three break points and suffered a break in the closing stages of each set to finish the round 2-1 and advance to the semi-finals for the second year in a row.
Nadal had the upper hand in the shorter, more advanced rallies, shooting 37 winners and 16 unforced errors and playing his best match in months. Both players served well in the early stages and made it 4-4 in 32 minutes. Nadal conceded a routine forehand in the ninth game and experienced a breaking point.
He saved it after Ruud’s mistake and denied the second with a service winner for an important serve.
Nadal will go to South America
Rafael Nadal emphasized the importance of journalists in tournaments compared to other means of media communication, particularly content from a players’ point of view as the new medium.
“Surely you have seen me train these days and you have seen me well, because I have also looked good. But probably those who are not here will say ‘how badly Rafa Nadal has prepared for this tournament’, and that doesn’t fit the reality.
There is one thing about journalism that is important to me, from my humble point of view. It is to see the player’s face, training, tennis status, which is also appreciated in training,” he added.