The Spaniard makes his debut this Sunday against Fritz at the ATP Finals in Turin
Djokovic seeks Federer's record sixth title
MADRID, 12 Nov. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The Spanish tennis player Rafa Nadal starts the ATP Finals this Sunday with his debut against the American Taylor Fritz, within a Green Group in which he starts as a favorite although he will have to get his best version without shooting the last five months, in search of raising the great title that is missing in his record as a finishing touch to an epic 2022.
"I have lacked to be better. I have qualified 17 times, but I have not been competitive those 17 times. I have lacked to be better on the indoor track, in fast conditions. Historically it has been the worst surface for me," said the Spaniard on Friday. at the presentation of the tournament in Turin (Italy), remembering the semifinal lost in 2020 against Daniil Medvedev as his most recent thorn.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion does not hide his weaknesses, but he undoubtedly has many other virtues that, by pure mathematics, may well be worth this year to proclaim himself Master for the first time and close the season as number one for the sixth time. The 2022 of the Balearic will be remembered for the triumphant returns after injury.
Nadal, 36, started the season winning the first three titles after several months of inactivity, worried and operated on his chronic left foot injury. The biggest was the Australian Open, with an incredible comeback in the final against Medvedev when he was 2-6, 6-7, 2-3 (0-40) down.
The 21st 'great' of the Spaniard left the sports world speechless, but months later, the man from Manacor conquered the 22nd, his 14th Roland Garros, after confessing once he had won that he had to do it with his foot asleep due to that chronic injury. The gravel tour was also marked by the broken rib in Indian Wells, where he fell in the final precisely with Fritz, which stopped his great streak. Afterwards he went again the foot and the abdomen twice.
Nadal doesn't waste time every time he has to stop, although it hurts and makes him desperate at times because he needs to feel in the match wheel, but he is capable of coming back stronger. At Wimbledon he had to retire in the semifinals, at the US Open he had that abdominal problem again and, between his recent fatherhood and rest, it's a handful of matches in five months.
The last one was the defeat in Paris-Bercy against Tommy Paul, where the Spaniard paid for that inactivity. Now, in Turin, with his son for the first time in the Circuit, the Balearic confessed in the previous one that he has been able to train well, that he feels comfortable and that he sees possibilities. Casper Ruud and Felix Auger-Aliassime complete the Balearic group in search of the semifinals.
On the other hand, Djokovic will seek to make history at the Pala Alpitour, equaling the record of six crowns held by the Swiss Roger Federer, starting from a Red Group that he shares with the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, champion in 2019, the Russian Daniil Medvedev, Master in 2020 , and the also Russian Andrey Rublev.
The one from Belgrade continues to be the number one danger, Wimbledon champion to finish forgetting the penalties of his deportation in Australia due to the coronavirus issue. 'Nole' put the machine to work already on clay and, despite not being able to go to the US Open due to not being vaccinated, he has not forgotten to win.
The Serbian gave up the Paris-Bercy final, but won the indoor titles in Tel Aviv and Astana. The eight best of the year begin the classic and beautiful end to the season, with the defending champion Alexander Zverev absent due to injury, as well as the number one in the world, the Spanish Carlos Alcaraz, who was forced to end the season in Paris-Bercy.