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.”
For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.
Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?