PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal loses opening ATP Finals match to Alexander Zverev in straight sets

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal has lost his opening match of the ATP Finals after being stunned by defending champion Alexander Zverev in straight sets.

Our champ went down 6-2, 6-4 to Zverev in 84 minutes at the O2 Arena even though Rafa went into the match with a 5-0 career win record over the young German.

After the match, Rafa said:

I am not the kind of person that says why does this happen. I have to accept [the defeat] as I have done in my whole career.

I haven’t played well, I’m not happy about that. I have to improve a lot if I want to win the other match.

I have no margin for error and I’m feeling bad because I lost a game I didn’t like. I accept the feeling that it was not good.

I wasn’t feeling uncomfortable in the abdominal area. I simply lacked pace and confidence in my shots.

It doesn’t really matter or make much difference [to how you play] if you put a ring on your finger.

Novak Djokovic, who can overtake Rafa at the top of the world rankings this week, leads the other group after winning on Sunday as the top eight players of the year compete in the season-ending event.

The top two players in each group after the round-robin stage progress to the semi-finals on Saturday.

15 comments

  1. Thanks Margo! Yes. That’s worrying. Worries about his confidence too in that case. If he becomes too wary and defensive that’d be bad too.

    Well I hope he can forget that match and carry on with what needs to be done

    VAMOS Rafa!!!

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    • Rafa supplied a list of reasons for his loss:

      Poor preparation

      Zverev was hitting at 140mph every time

      The speed of the surface

      Inability to capatilize on the big points

      He couldn’t find a rhythm

      Lack of energy

      He lacked rhythm when needed in order to read the points that were of most value

      He lacked confidence to hit winning shots.

      He also said this type of tournament allows for only one loss and that he hopes to do better in his next match.

      As I am not familiar with tennis terms in Spanish maybe someone else can take a shot at translating.

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  2. Rafa, you have to be more like speedy gonzales on these courts. move like a rubber band being shot around the court. Concentrate on each point and forget about the last point won or loss. You have the ability and you should be able to knock it out of the park. Stay Confident in your abilities and CONTROL the point and don’t lose your serve for goodness sake. Control, Control , Control . You’ve got this just be more flexible on your feet and hit more corner shots and please please please no more balls in the net.
    a fan forever
    kathie

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  3. VAMOS SWEETHEART AND GOOD EVENING!!!!!!!!!!:) ENJOY EVERYTHING AND IMAGINE ALL POSITIVE AND YOU ARE PLAYING IN SPAIN…..KEEP GOING SWEETHEART…..HAVE A GREAT WEEK NO MATTER WHAT……NOTHING TOO IMPORTANT HAPPENED AND NO BIG DEAL…..JUST TAKE GOOD CARE AND KNOW IF THIS WAS A 5 SET MATCH RESULTS COULD BE IN YOUR FAVOR….BUT THE TRUTH IS IT IS TOTALLY OK TO WIN SOME AND LOOSE SOME…..IT IS AS YOU SAY, A PART OF THE SPORT……WHAT MAKES US HAPPY IS THAT YOU WARMED UP …..HAD FEISTY GREAT MOMENTS AND YOUR PRECIOUS EFFECTIVE SERVE AND MOVEMENT WERE SOLID!!!!!!!!!!!:) UST RAN OUT OF TIME…..
    VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!:)

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  4. You gotta hand it to Zverev. He rose to the occasion with incredible serving and went toe to toe with Rafa. Indoor courts definitely suit his style of game and there is a reason why he won this tournament last year. Rafa just couldn’t cope with being rushed and wasn’t given much rhythm.
    Assuming no injuries, Rafa is going have to sharpen things up considerably if he’s to come through this group and Medvedev will be another huge hurdle.

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