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Friday, April 12, 2024

Nadal out of ATP Finals after loss against Felix


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Turin: Rafael Nadal’s hopes of a first ATP Finals title are over after he was knocked out of the tournament in the group stage.

Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada defeated top seed Nadal 6-3, 6-4 to notch his maiden victory at the prestigious season finale on Tuesday.

The fifth seed Canadian bounced back impressively from his opening defeat to Norway’s Casper Ruud at the season finale.

Despite the loss, Nadal was not eliminated from contention for year-end No. 1 in the ATP Rankings as Ruud was needed to win just one set against Taylor Fritz on Tuesday to eliminate the Spaniard.

Ruud prevailed 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(6) in a high-powered clash against Fritz at the season finale in Turin to confirm his progression from Green Group.

Despite falling to a 0-2 record at the ATP Finals, Nadal is aiming to take the positives from his performances into his final round-robin match against Casper Ruud in Turin.

The Spaniard arrived in Turin off the back of competing in Paris and he showed glimpses of his best level against Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Pala Alpitour. However, he was unable to sustain a consistent level for large periods, falling in straight sets.

“There are a couple of positive things. I was able to play two tournaments in the past three weeks. That’s the positive thing, something that I was not able to do for a while,” Nadal said in his post-match press conference.

“I don’t think I forgot how to play tennis, how to be strong enough mentally. I just need to recover all these positive feelings and all this confidence and all this strong mentality that I need to be at the level that I want to be.

“I don’t know if I going to reach that level again. But what I don’t have any doubt is that I [am] going to die for it.”

Nadal enjoyed a standout first half of the season, capturing four tour-level titles, including the Australian Open and Roland Garros. However, he has played just eight singles tour-level matches since Wimbledon due to injury.

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