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.
“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.
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.
“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.”
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.
“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.”