Rafael Nadal after Dominic Thiem defeat: I think playing like this I am confident that I can have my chances in the tournament

(AFP) – Rafael Nadal insisted he can still win the ATP Finals for the first time despite a damaging 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/4) defeat against Austria’s Dominic Thiem on Tuesday.

Nadal had beaten Rublev in straight sets in his first match, but the 34-year-old was unable to cope with Thiem in a high-quality clash.

Now Nadal, who lost the 2010 and 2013 finals of the event, has to beat Tsitsipas in his last group match to keep alive his hopes of reaching the semi-finals of the prestigious season-ending tournament.

Despite his perilous position, Nadal took heart from the way he competed against the inspired Thiem.

He believes that will stand him in good stead in a showdown with Tsitsipas that decides the second semi-finalist from the group.

“He played I think an amazing match, and I played well too. So my feeling is not negative. I lost, but I had plenty of chances in the first and then I had break up in the second set, Nadal said.

“I’m happy with the way I played. I think my chances are bigger to have a very good result now than five days ago because the level of tennis, even if I lost today, for me is much higher.”

The world number two has qualified for the ATP Finals for 16 years in a row, but his record at the eight-man elite event pales in comparison with Federer and Novak Djokovic after six injury withdrawals.

– ‘I have my chances’ –

Potentially facing another disappointment in the Finals, Nadal said he couldn’t explain his problems at the event.

“I don’t know. I think even if I never won here, I don’t want to pretend to be arrogant at all, because I am not. But I really don’t need to show even to myself or to no one that if I am playing my best tennis I think I can win in every surface and against any player,” he said.

“I never won in the World Tour Finals. That’s the real thing at the same time. So no problem about that. I know I have to play my best if I want to have chances.

“Today was a match that I played at very high level. I have a match against Tsitsipas in two days. Gonna be another tough one.

“I hope to be ready. I think playing like this I am confident that I can have my chances in the tournament.”

Source: AFP

37 comments

  1. Rafa knows he played great tennis against Thiem, so he’s very confident going into his match against Tsitsipas tonight. Rafa won’t let this one get away.

  2. According to ATP Tour, Thiem will play winner between ND and Zverev, Medvedev will play winner between Rafa and Tsitsipas in the semis.

    Rafa all the way!🤞🍀💪❤️🙏

  3. Well done Andrey! What a performance 👏🤗

    I hope Rafa will do the same against Tsitsipas!
    Vamos Rafa 💪🍀❤️

    • I watched it Mimi. Rublev was SOLID! Definitely can leave London with his head held very high.

      On to you Rafa champ… get it done!

      • Thanks for your response, Mac🙏

        Yes, for sure, what a season Andrey had👏 I am so happy he ended it with a fantastic victory!

        Good luck to Rafa🍀

  4. I’m so disappointed you are not coming to Perth, WA, in Jan 2021. Attended all your matches last January – one of the biggest thrills of my life. Hope things improve in Melbourne n I am able to see you there, God willing. I’m 85 n time is running out on me! Vamos Rafa. Your Aussie Abuela Nan Shirley.

    • Hi Shirley! I’m sure you will eventually get to see Rafa in person.

      Time has been running out for you for a few years now… At some point you may have to admit that you might be immortal:) 🙂

      Stay safe!

      Good luck tonight Rafa!

  5. Funny Funny from Twitter

    ————————
    F r a n Flag of Spain
    @_rafaholic

    “Had to play an exho in Mallorca with Becker. Half an hour before he says he won’t play. ‘You’ll play a 14 yo boy’ they tell me. I go on court ready to make him win some games, so that he won’t start crying. I lose in two, and only then I ask him his name: Rafael Nadal.”
    Pat Cash
    —————

    I am still laughing. 14-year-old Rafa put a hurting on Pat Cash.

  6. It was an incredible match – just a shame Rafa lost 🙁 .

    At least this year we know he’s got to beat Stef to reach the SFs, end of, not like some years when you’ve practically needed a degree in advanced mathematics to work out who had to do what to qualify. Having just watched this evening’s match, I’m not sure who’d be a worse opponent, Nole or Daniil!

  7. Two tie breakers with Thiem – it could have gone either way, so far as I’m concerned, I’m not worried.

    Compare this with Djokovic – Daniil match, the greatest returner had no answers!

    To me, Daniil was like a machine, rifling aces and unreturnables.

    And to think Rafa beat Daniil by turning the table at 1-5 Medvedev in the 5th set of the US Open 2018…..of course one can argue, Daniil has added more dimensions to his game since then.

    Let’s hope and pray Rublev beats Dominic and our hero wins in straight sets against Tsitsipas…..

    • Medvedev just won 6/3 6/3
      I started watching when Medvedev had a break point in the first set, and he didn’t disappoint, so I watched the rest of the match.

      • I saw the score of the first set on line and I didn’t want to jinx it by tuning in so I didn’t and it worked!

        The next geners are really having no respect for their elders right now. (Though Dominic is an in-between gener). Does Djokovic seem unbeatable right now? Not so much. There are really six guys playing well behind the top 2 and Nole and Rafa really have to bring their A games.

        Good Luck tomorrow Rafa! Go get ’em!

      • Thank you David and Mimi.

        I had forgotten about the match …. busy with pets and chores. Then when I checked couldn’t find anything about the match. It was showing up as not played yet on the ATP Finals schedule and as 0 for ND on a different site. I thought ND had retired.

  8. Moving ahead, the plan as of now, is to have the pre-Australian Open tournaments [Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, Perth, Hobart, Canberra] played in Victoria. This plan would ensure that the approximately 500 players and their entourages will be ready and present to play the Australian Open at Melbourne Park from January 18-31.

    Nothing has been finalized so we can expect changes to occur because everything depends upon infection rates and the approval of government officials.

    Looking forward to seeing Rafa try for his second AO title.

      • David, if the ATP Cup is played, it would be held in Victoria also. That’s the only info I could find.

    • The latest reports are saying that the Victorian state government won’t let the players arrive until the end of December at the earliest, so, if they’ve got to quarantine for 2 weeks, there won’t be time for any warm-up events … which isn’t going to work. Tennis Australia’s idea was for them to arrive mid-December – not ideal to spend Christmas holed up in a quarantine hotel, but apparently the players agreed to it – but it now doesn’t seem likely to happen.

  9. It was a huge effort to win Roland Garros this year. We hate to see you lose, but as you say, it is part
    of the sport. We cannot grasp how challenging it is to compete under COVID restrictions. Stay healthy and fierce as you fight on. Win or lose, our support is unwavering🤛💪👏👍🍀❤️

  10. Whether he wins or not, Rafa will ALWAYS be my tennis MASTER.

    Instead of giving Rafa credit for trying and even admitting his lack of success on this surface, people will try to tear him down.

    RAFA ROCKS

    • Rafa always give his all. A role model both on and off the court. No matter win or lose, always with Rafa! Thank you for bringing so much joy over the years🙏❤️

      • Mimi, if you haven’t already, may I suggest you read the ATP’s article on Rublev after his loss yesterday to Tsitsipas. It’s wonderful, uplifting, mature, great attitude. He may have won me over as one to watch.

      • Margo, thanks for the suggestion🙏 I just read it, and I love your description 👍
        Let me know when you decide to join Andrey’s fan club 😅

  11. Well done Rafa, such a mentally strong performance at the highest level! Two tie- breaks and all that was missing : a portion of luck ! Tomorrow is going to be your turn, stay strong and confident, the rest will follow …..
    In any case : you don’t need to win every title, because you are the best and we love you.
    Vamos Rafa 👏👏👏

  12. So small margins yesterday. Do not forget that Rafa has very often been injured end of the year, and that is the only reason why he does not have this title. In fact, it does not matter. Rafa is the best anyway.

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