I lost a big opportunity, says Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal rues missing a 'big opportunity' against Daniil Medvedev at the ATP Finals

Rafael Nadal rues missing 'big opportunity' against Daniil Medvedev

Rafael Nadal’s wait for the elusive ATP Finals title continues. The Spaniard rued missing a golden opportunity against Daniil Medvedev in Saturday’s semi-finals.

Nadal, making his 16th successive appearance at the elite season-ending tournament, was a game away from winning the semi-final as he served for the match at 5-4 in the second set. But the 20-time Grand Slam champion failed to close out the match, going down 6-3, 6-7 (4), 3-6 to Medvedev.

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“I had a big opportunity, I lost a big opportunity,” Nadal said after the match. “Well done to him (Medvedev). He’s playing great. I wish him all the best.”

The Spaniard has reached the finals at the ATP Finals twice before. Had he won, he would have taken on World No 3 Dominic Thiem, who defeated Novak Djokovic in a three-set thriller earlier in the day.

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Though a lion’s share of Nadal’s success has come on clay courts, the 34-year-old has proven himself to be an all-court player by now, winning multiple Grand Slams on grass as well as hard-courts. But indoor hard-courts remain some sort of a chink in his armour.

Nadal, though, refused to blame the surface for his most recent defeat.

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“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,” he said.

“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.”

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Though it was a disappointing end to the season, Nadal has had some great results in 2020. He won his 13th French Open title to draw level with Roger Federer for a record 20 majors.

And he is already looking forward to fighting for the big titles in the coming year.

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“My goal is always the same: to go to every tournament and give myself a chance to compete well and try to win it,” Nadal said. “That’s the goal of every year.”