Rafael Nadal’s unending and agonizing quest for a maiden Tour Finals title has been prolonged by another year.
Burying hopes of finally ending his trophy-less run in London this year, the Spaniard missed out on yet another shot at silverware at the Finals on Saturday.
Staring at defeat, the big Russian scripted a comeback for the ages to enter the final for the first time in the season-ending tournament.
For Nadal, barring two final appearances in 2010 and 2013, this was the closest he had come to winning the elusive title.
This was the sixth time that Nadal’s run in the Finals ended in the last-four stage.
And the Spaniard conceded as much after the game, saying, “I had a big opportunity. I lost a big opportunity.”
However, as the tennis world has seen of the Spaniard, he was gracious in defeat.
“Well done to him (Medvedev). He’s playing great. I wish him all the best,” Nadal said.
As the match statistics bore proof, there wasn’t much to separate the two players in this absorbing last-four encounter.
However, it was the Russian who seized on the key moments and made the most of the openings that came his way to finish on the winning side.
The loss took Nadal’s career win/loss tally in the tournament to 16-20 and marked his 10th trophy-less run in London.
It also turned the spotlight back on the Spaniard’s inability to win tournaments on indoor surfaces.
His last indoor title win came 15 years ago in Madrid.
Quizzed on his aversion to hardcourts after his latest defeat, Nadal stopped short of blaming it on the surface.
“Now is not the moment to talk about that. I’m a player to accept what the surface is. I have my personal opinion, but (this) is not the moment,” the Spaniard said.
He rued not capitalizing on the chances he had.
“I just lost (the) semi-final. I had my chances. I was close to play another final here.
“I was not enough good in the moment to close the match. That’s it. Other stuff doesn’t matter,” Nadal said.
He said he would take the loss on the chin, train hard in the off-season and fight for titles next year.
“My goal is always the same: to go to every tournament and give myself a chance to compete well and try to win it. That’s the goal of every year,” Nadal said.
“My motivation have been always the same. Next year gonna be an important year. I hope to be ready to fight for the things that I want to fight (for).
“I’m going to work hard during the off-season to be ready for the beginning,” the Spaniard said.
While he will fight for titles next year, Nadal will struggle to fight off the crushing feeling of the one that got away in London.