“Gonna Keep Fighting for It”: Rafael Nadal on His Title-less Run at ATP Finals

Published 11/14/2020, 2:12 AM EST
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Paris Masters – AccorHotels Arena, Paris, France – November 7, 2020 Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts during his semi final match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


Rafael Nadal holds 86 career tour titles but the ATP Finals isn’t one of them.

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Indeed, the famed O2 Arena in London, which hosts the prestigious season-ending event, hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the Spain stalwart.

Having caught up with Roger Federer in the race for most Major titles this year, Nadal has now set sights on adding the missing chapter in his glory book.

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“Had some good matches here”: Rafael Nadal on his modest record at O2 Arena

However, Nadal said he does have some happy memories at the ATP Finals which will give him confidence as he bids to end his trophy-less run at the O2 Arena.

Speaking on his modest track-record at the venue ahead of this year’s ATP Finals, Nadal said, “Obviously, I have better memories in (all) other places, but I’m playing here.”

Nadal said there are a couple of matches at the venue which bring back good memories.

“I had some good matches here. I think I played two good matches here against Stepanos (Tsitsipas) and Daniil (Medvedev),” Nadal said.

He also cited his semi-final win over three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray in 2010.

“I remember the match against Andy, the semi-final. I think it was 2010 or something, great match,” the 20-time Slam champion said.

“Enjoyed playing here”: Nadal on ambience at ATP Finals

Nadal said regardless of his unflattering record, he has always enjoyed playing at the O2 Arena.

“I have always enjoyed playing here. The atmosphere has been really spectacular,” Nadal said.

“I have memories here, both positive and negative ones,” the Spaniard said.

Asked how keen he was to end his trophy drought in London this year, Nadal said, “This event is a really big one and I’ve played it hard all my career.”

“It wasn’t possible (to win the title) but I’m gonna keep fighting for it,” Nadal said.

Nadal has been better indoors in the last two years

What will also give him confidence in his quest for a maiden Tour Finals title is that he twice finished runners up at the indoor venue.

While not offering excuses for his modest record in London, he did say that playing on indoor surfaces has never been ideal for him.

Rafael Nadal returns a forehand in his match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France on day 5 of the Rolex Paris Masters, part of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 held at the at AccorHotels Arena on November 01, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

“I think I played less than on the other surfaces, without a doubt,” Nadal said in a previous interview.

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“The indoor surfaces have not been the ideal surfaces for my tennis game since the beginning of my career,” he said.

However, Nadal said he has been better indoors “in the past couple of years” than he was at the beginning of his career.

 

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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