Rafael Nadal finished his season with a 7-5, 7-5 victory over Casper Ruud at the ATP Finals. Rafa has been struggling with an abdominal injury since July, playing only nine matches after Wimbledon and losing five! The Spaniard experienced defeats to Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger-Aliassime in Turin before raising his level against Ruud to gain momentum ahead of the off-season.
Nadal will not lead Spain in the Davis Cup Finals at home, not playing at his 2019 level and allowing other compatriots to chase the crown. Three years ago, Rafa led Spain in the first edition of the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid’s Caja Magica.
Carried by the partisan crowd, Nadal stood as a true leader of the home squad, winning all eight matches and lifting the trophy with his teammates. In the opening rubber against Russia, Rafa overpowered Karen Khachanov in the second singles match to keep his country alive before they claimed the doubles encounter.
Rafael Nadal will not play the Davis Cup Finals in a couple of weeks.
A day later, Nadal defeated Borna Gojo in singles and stepped on the court with Marcel Granollers in Spain’s victory over Croatia, propelling the home nation into the quarters.
Rafa had no room for errors against Argentina in the quarter-final, toppling Diego Schwartzman and earning another triumph with Granollers to push Spain into the semi-final. Spain lost the opening rubber against Great Britain and had no room for errors.
Nadal stepped in again, delivered two victories and moved his country into the final clash against Canada. Roberto Bautista Agut and Nadal toppled Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime to wrap up a perfect tournament and celebrate the trophy with their supporters in Caja Magica.
“I was not an option for this year’s Davis Cup. The captain has known since the beginning of the season. If I’m representing my country, I must do it with full passion, confidence and spirit, as I did in Madrid 2019.
This year, I’m not able to be at that level. I do not know if I can play the Davis Cup again in the future, but I would love to say goodbye to that beautiful competition. I’m getting old and can’t play everything, despite my desire.
We have Pablo Carreno Busta and Roberto Bautista Agut. They are top players. Many countries would love to have those two on their teams. They are capable of winning against everyone. Of course, we have fewer chances without Carlos Alcaraz in the squad,” Rafael Nadal said.