Rafael Nadal believes he missed a ‘big opportunity’ to win his first ATP Finals title, although he couldn’t begrudge Daniil Medvedev the win.
Nadal lost out to the Russian in the semi-finals in London despite winning the first set.
And afterwards, he admitted it felt like a very big missed opportunity given how good he was feeling this week.
“I think at the beginning of the match he was better than me,” Nadal assessed in his post-match press conference.
“I was able to save my serves with troubles, but then I played well to have the break and then to close the set.
“In the second, a little bit the same story at the beginning, but at the end of the set I was playing a little bit better than him.
“And then in the 5-4 I think he played a good game and I didn’t. I played a bad game.
“That’s it. But I had a big opportunity. I lost a big opportunity.”
Nadal has, perhaps inexplicably, never actually won the ATP Finals and the expectations seem to rise every year as a result.
He, though, says that pressure did not play any part in his defeat to Medvedev.
“I think I achieved enough to not find an excuse about the pressure,” Nadal said. “I know I won enough matches and enough tournaments in an even more difficult situation than this one… So I don’t feel that way.
“I feel I played a bad game. Of course you are nervous to win the match. But not [only] me, everybody. [It] is normal to have the tension. I think he played some good points and I made a couple of mistakes.
“Small details make a big difference. Just well done for him and not enough good for me.”
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