The ATP Finals they will change headquarters next year, moving from London to Turin, but surely they will not do it as protagonists. In the last fifteen years, one of them has been Rafael Nadal, even though he has not been able to win that trophy so far. In his ten participations (with that of this 2020), the Spanish has lived moments of all kinds: epic victories, tough defeats, physical problems and even angry arguments with the chair judges. Below we review his trajectory in this scenario.
After winning his second consecutive Roland Garros in 2006, Nadal played his first ATP Finals as number 2 in the world rankings. It shone in its premiere as it reached the semifinals of the tournament, where Roger Federer sent him home in two sets. The following year the same thing happened, the Swiss being one of the black beasts of the Balearic Islands in this tournament. In 2009, Nadal had one of his worst performances on this date as he lost all three of his Round Robin matches. The last of them against Nikolay Davydenko, ultimately champion.
Skimming the title
The year after his low-key performance, a much more experienced Nadal rebuilt to shine in his second year in London. He reached the final conceding just two sets, with plenty of wins in all his previous duels, but Federer was there once again. After dividing the first two sets (6-3 for Roger and 3-6 for Rafa), the one from Basel put one more march to sweep the final sleeve, without giving the Spanish a choice: 6-1. In 2011, Nadal again said goodbye in the group stage with just one win over Mardy Fish. However, after his absence in the next edition due to injury, Nadal returned to caress the title. In that 2013 it was Novak Djokovic who deprived Manacor of glory in his second final: 6-3 and 6-4.
2020 is not the year either
Nadal's last appearances in the ATP Finals left both lights and shadows, and even bad fortune. In 2015 he met again in the semifinals with an intractable Djokovic, that he endorsed a double 6-3 and that in the end he was crowned champion against Federer. In his last two appearances, the manacorense has not passed the Round Robin, although with special bad luck in 2019, since he won two of his three games and even so he was eliminated by a carom of unusual results. This season, in his tenth appearance in the Masters tournament, Nadal also failed to lift the title after losing in the semifinals to Daniil Medvedev, including a comeback from the Russian. This Sunday, the ATP Finals will crown a unprecedented champion for the fifth consecutive year.