Rafael Nadal has warned his ATP Finals rivals that he is feeling fresher than perhaps ever before as he hunts his first title in the tournament.
The ATP Finals is a glaring omission from Nadal's roll of honour, although he believes the timing of the event makes it a very tough one to win.
This year, though, he has arrived in London fresh after playing very little tennis in 2020 and, after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach the semi-finals, he says he can feel it.
"[To] be in the semi-finals here, in the last tournament of the year, is an important thing," Nadal said after the match.
"[I am] happy for that and I am looking forward to the semi-finals against Daniil [Medvedev].”
“I still won two matches like last year,” Nadal said. “Last year, I was a little bit unlucky not to be in the semi-finals. The year before I had to pull out.
"It is always difficult to play here against the best players in the world every single day [at the] end of the season.
"Most of the time, you get here a little bit tired, but this year is a little bit different… I am just excited to be in the semi-finals and I hope to be ready to try my best.”
On the match itself, Nadal thought one bad game from him made it look a lot closer than it actually was.
“I think I played quite well for such a long time. That game at 5-4 in the second [set] affected [the match] a little bit.
"I lost the second [set] and then I was able to have the break in third [set] earlier, but then he broke me back.
“I thought I was winning my serves quite comfortably until that moment. After that, everything changed a little bit. I think I started to serve a little bit worse but, in general terms, it [was] a very positive match for me."
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