‘Rafael Nadal will play the ATP Finals’ believes ATP chief
ATP Chief Andrea Gaudenzi is confident that Rafael Nadal will compete at the year-end ATP Finals for an 11th time.
The 22-time Slam champion became the first player to qualify for the event on 2nd September after winning the Australian Open and French Open earlier in the year. However, Nadal has only played doubles at the Laver Cup since his fourth round US Open exit that month.
Moreover, he and wife Xisca have just welcomed their new son into the world, meaning Nadal is likely to spend a number of weeks with family.
“I don’t know [if he will play the ATP Finals],” Gaudenzi admitted to Ubitennis. “I hope he’ll come. In my opinion he will, because he’s never won the ATP Finals. He’s won everything else, but is still to secure an ATP Finals.
“He has always complained about the fact it’s played on hard courts and not on clay. He’s got a point, but it’s quite inevitable considering the scheduling. Anyway I know it’s an event he would like to win at all costs because it’s the only important title missing from his resume.”
As noted by Gaudenzi, Nadal has won titles at all levels from ATP 250 up to the Slams and Davis Cup, except the ATP Finals. He reached the final in 2010 and 2013 in London. He lost to Roger Federer in 2010 and Novak Djokovic in 2013. He has not won every Masters 1000 title available, as he is yet to capture Shanghai, Paris and Miami.
Despite qualifying for the event 17 times previously, Rafael Nadal has played just 10 ATP Finals due to injuries. That has included missing five of the last 10 events. Nadal missed the 2021 event due to injury, and reached the semi-finals in 2020 before losing to eventual champion Daniil Medvedev. Interestingly, the ATP Finals is unusual among the big titles for its lack of ‘Big Four’ champions since 2016.
After Federer won the event in 2010 and 2011, Djokovic won four straight from 2012 to 2015 before Andy Murray claimed the trophy in 2016. The champions since have been Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Medvedev and Zverev again in 2021.
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