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ATP Finals: Rafael Nadal - was it really worth it?

Rafael Nadal no longer has a chance of reaching the semifinals of the ATP Finals 2022. The question is whether he will even compete in his last match.

by Jens Huiber
last edit: Nov 16, 2022, 12:30 am

Rafael Nadal seemed to suspect evil on Tuesday
© Getty Images
Rafael Nadal seemed to suspect evil on Tuesday

The ways of Rafael Nadal - they were unfathomable even in tennis year 2022. It was not to be expected that the Spaniard would come back after a long injury break and win both tournaments in Melbourne (the preparatory event and the Australian Open) and also in Acapulco, and then reach the final in Indian Wells. From the next injury-related absence, Nadal came back a little slower. It was still enough for the 14th title at the French Open.

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But which Nadal won with great pain in his foot, which made it not unlikely that the grandmaster in Roland Garros would resign on the spot at the last of many highlights of his career. But: nothing there. On the contrary: A new type of therapy later, Nadal stormed into the semi-finals a few days later in Wimbledon. However, he was unable to compete due to problems with his abdominal muscles.

Nadal at the Laver Cup

Well, good: then stop again. At the US Open, the end against Frances Tiafoe came with the announcement that Nadal actually felt too old for the challenges that players like the American presented to him. He had to consider whether it still made sense to compete in his physical condition at the time.

Which resulted in a break, which was briefly interrupted by the historically sensitive appearance at the Laver Cup alongside Roger Federer. After that, Nadal devoted himself to the arrival of his first son Rafael, only coming back against Tommy Paul in Paris-Bercy. And didn't make a good impression on the back end. Neither against Taylor Fritz and Félix Auger-Aliassime in Turin at the ATP Finals.

The United Cup as preparation

There Nadal is finally out after two defeats and Casper Ruud's success against Fritz. On Thursday he would have to play against Ruud again, maybe Nadal will also let Holger Rune participate in the season finale. And maybe the 36-year-old is asking himself: was it really worth it? Or would a longer hiatus throughout the fall have been a better option?

It was not to be expected that Rafael Nadal would win the title at the ATP Finals for the first time in Turin. The surface is too fast, the form of his opponents is too good, such as Félix Auger-Aliassime on Tuesday (who now has a real final against Taylor Fritz in the group stage).

Rafael Nadal's next appearance is scheduled for the United Cup at the end of December. There it is also about points for the ATP world rankings. For Nadal, however, the main thing is to get back on track. Because one thing is clear: the Spanish legend is not going to the Australian Open to fill out the tableau there. But to get his 23rd major title. For which you need a lot of imagination after the impressions of Turin.

Here the draw in Turin

turin map

by Jens Huiber

Nov 16, 2022, 08:02 am
last edit: Nov 16, 2022, 12:30 am