ATP

Nadal admits it is 'difficult to imagine' ATP Finals success after shock Paris Masters loss

By Sports Desk November 02, 2022

Rafael Nadal has turned his focus to the ATP Finals after his shock exit from the Paris Masters, though found it hard to visualise success in Turin.

World number two Nadal crashed out in the second round of the ATP 1000 event on Wednesday, going down 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 to Tommy Paul.

Nadal, who was contesting his first match since his Laver Cup doubles exhibition with the now-retired Roger Federer, took the opening set and appeared on his way to a comfortable victory when he went up a break in the second.

But Paul broke straight back, going on to win the tie-break before storming home in the decider as Nadal seemed to struggle physically the longer the match dragged on.

Speaking to the media after the loss, Nadal gave credit to his opponent and said he did not deserve to win after blowing his chance.

"It's okay – all the credit to Tommy," he said. "Things happen sometimes.

"I think he played aggressively, a lot of great shots. I had my match in that second set, with a set and break [lead]. 

"I played a terrible game there. I didn't deserve the victory playing that bad in that key moment, no.

"Until that moment, it was okay, a good match for me. Knowing that this is my first match in a while – and this surface especially, you cannot make mistakes with your serve.

"We are always ready to find excuses, but in the end, it's always the same. You play well, you win; you don't, you lose. 

"For moments, putting everything in a pack, I was playing quite well. Then at the right moment, I didn't make the right things. So that's it – he played well, he's having a great year."

Turning his attention to the season finale in Italy, Nadal said he will be there if everything goes to plan.

"Yes, I hope, if nothing happens, I hope to be there," he said. "I'm excited about playing, even if it hasn't been the perfect couple of months for me, of course. 

"But yeah, nothing to lose. After a good year, going there, just trying my best. It's true that for the last five months I didn't spend enough days on the Tour.

"I don't even say competing on a tennis court – I say on the Tour. Practicing with the guys, that's what I need."

His lack of a strong build-up to the tournament has 22-time grand slam champion Nadal admittedly not liking his chances, saying it would be "difficult to imagine" this being the year he is able to win his first ATP Finals title.

"I mean, for me it's difficult to imagine now arriving in good enough shape to win a tournament like this one that I didn't win during my whole tennis career," he said.

"To play against the best players of the world, from the first day you need to be there and the rhythm, conditions, that will not happen. 

"So the only thing I can do is try to be there earlier, have some good practice with the guys and then give my best on the court – and hopefully the level of tennis will be there, and the body too.

"I can't predict much, and I honestly don't think much about what I have to do or what I don't have to do to be really there. 

"I just think about 'be better' – I need to improve a couple of things, and then I need to play sets against the best players, to feel myself again, competitive against everyone.

"That's it – I'm gonna try to make that happen – and if not, you know what, there's going to be next year, and I'm going to try to have the best season possible to start strong."

Related items

  • Bills co-owner Kim Pegula recovering from cardiac arrest Bills co-owner Kim Pegula recovering from cardiac arrest

    Buffalo Bills co-owner Kim Pegula is recovering from suffering a cardiac arrest last June, but "where she ends up is still unknown".

    American tennis star Jessica Pegula, the world number four, provided an update on her mother's condition in a long Players' Tribune article on Tuesday.

    The five-time grand slam singles quarter-finalist revealed her sister, Kelly, saved their 53-year-old's mother live by giving her CPR after their father woke up to her going into cardiac arrest nine months ago.

    Kim, co-owner and president of both NFL franchise the Bills and NHL team the Buffalo Sabres, is back at home and doctors are "blown away" by her "miracle" recovery.

    She is, however, suffering from significant expressive aphasia and significant memory issues and the family have come to the realisation that she is unlikely to resume her roles with the Bills and Sabres.

    Jessica revealed that three months before her mother fell ill, her sister had decided to learn CPR.

    She wrote: "Kelly called me one day and said she was going to get her CPR certification as a requirement for a job she wanted. I said: 'No way, I have been meaning to do that but haven't gotten around to it.”

    "She relayed to me how nervous she was about it and hoped she passed the class. I remember her telling us what she was doing in our family group chat, and my mom even responded: 'Nice Kells! Now if we have a heart attack, you can revive us.'"

    She added: "Today, my mom is still in recovery, and although it is the same answer every time someone asks me, it is true, she is improving every day. She is dealing with significant expressive aphasia and significant memory issues.

    "She can read, write, and understand pretty well, but she has trouble finding the words to respond. It is hard to deal with and it takes a lot of patience to communicate with her, but I thank God every day that we can still communicate with her at all. The doctors continue to be blown away by her recovery, considering where she started, and her determination is the driving force of that."

    Jessica was a quarter-finalist at the Australian Open last month, having been considering whether she should call time on her career.

    She stated: "Suddenly, I went from 'Let's celebrate top 10 in the world' to 'Do I need to start thinking about my career after tennis a lot sooner than I thought?' 'Does my dad and family need help?' 'Maybe I should just go back to school and work for the family.'

    "I am 28 and I take pride in being able to handle every situation thrown at me, but this was A LOT."

    She was also hit hard by seeing Damar Hamlin collapse on the field while playing for the Bills last month.

    "Then in January we came to some bizarre, messed-up, full circle moment." she wrote. "Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest on the field during the Monday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals. My stomach sunk because it felt like the exact same thing all over again."

    Last year's French Open women's doubles runner-up continued: "It has been a tough year, but at the same time I feel lucky and blessed. I am thankful she is still with us when other families may not have been so lucky.

    "That she even had a chance at recovery when the first week in the hospital seemed so dim. Thankful for the doctors that aided in her recovery. Thankful that she is now home, that she gets to watch the Bills, Sabres and my tennis matches. She never watched my matches before, because she got too nervous. Now she watches all of them.

    "Thank you to the Buffalo community for your patience. I know you have wanted answers and it took us a while to get there, but it finally felt like it was time. Thank you to everyone who has respected privacy and shown me and my family tremendous support throughout this ongoing journey."

  • Raducanu will win more grand slams despite struggles, believes ex-Olympic champion Puig Raducanu will win more grand slams despite struggles, believes ex-Olympic champion Puig

    Emma Raducanu will win more grand slams according to Monica Puig, but the ex-Olympic champion warns she must be given time to figure out what her game is going forward.

    The Briton shot to tennis stardom with victory at the 2021 US Open, setting a record for the fewest majors played (two) before winning a title.

    But a frustrating run of injuries and poor form across 2022, which also included numerous coaching changes, has seen her plummet to number 80 in the WTA rankings and fail to reach the third round of a slam since her famous triumph.

    Puig, who won women's singles gold at Rio 2016, believes Raducanu still has the skill to reach the top again, but needs to focus on court matters first and foremost.

    "I saw her many times courtside during the US Open when she did win that title and she is a very talented player," Puig told Sky Sports.

    "Physically, she's still very young.

    "She still needs time to develop and time to find out who she is as a tennis player, who she is as a person.

    "I can sympathise with her because when I won the Olympics, it came out of nowhere. I can only imagine [what it was like] coming from the UK where something like that is so big."

    Puig added: "Absolutely [she can still win grand slams]. She's still young. It's a matter of time.

    "We're always seeing generational changes with players like myself and Serena Williams having now stepped away.

    "She is going to be in that circle of names that are going to be a force to be reckoned with.

    "She just needs to settle, find her ground and take the pressure and expectation off.

    "Remember the reason why you started playing tennis in the first place. It's because of the love of the sport."

  • Jack Sock makes a winning start at the Dallas Open, Cerundolo books date with top seed in Cordoba Jack Sock makes a winning start at the Dallas Open, Cerundolo books date with top seed in Cordoba

    Jack Sock is through to the second round of the Dallas Open after prevailing 7-6 (7-2) 4-6 6-4 in a tough opening test against Ilya Ivashka.

    Belarus' Ivashka is ranked over 50 spots higher than Sock, but he is in some torrid form, with Monday's loss his sixth in a row.

    Sock snapped his own three-match losing streak, and he did so despite committing 10 double faults, coming up clutch in break point situations by saving 15 of Ivashka's 18 opportunities.

    Meanwhile, 21-year-old Argentinian Juan Manuel Cerundolo booked a meeting with compatriot and top seed Diego Schwartzman after beating Pablo Andujar 6-4 1-0 (retired) in the first round of the Cordoba Open.

    The rising Cerundolo now boasts a 13-1 record since the beginning of the new year, while it was Andujar's fifth loss in a row.

    In an all-Spanish showdown it was Bernabe Zapata Miralles emerging victorious 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 7-5 against Roberto Carballes Baena, while Serbia's Dusan Lajovic defeated Peru's Juan Pablo Varillas 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

    The last match of the night saw Italy's Luciano Darderi handle France's Hugo Gaston 6-4 6-3, with Darderi now set to face fourth seed Sebastian Baez.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.