Rafael Nadal ended his season with a 7-5, 7-5 victory over Casper Ruud in the ATP Finals. Rafa has been struggling with an abdominal injury since July, playing just nine matches after Wimbledon and losing five! The Spaniard experienced losses to Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger-Aliassime in Turin before leveling himself up against Ruud to build momentum ahead of the offseason.
Nadal will not lead Spain in the Davis Cup Finals at home, will not play at the level of 2019 and will allow other compatriots to chase the crown. Three years ago, Rafa led Spain in the first edition of the Davis Cup Finals at the Caja Mágica in Madrid.
Carried away by the partisan crowd, Nadal remained a true home team leader, winning all eight matches and lifting the trophy with his teammates. In the opening match against Russia, Rafa overcame Karen Khachanov in the second singles match to keep his country alive before they won the doubles match.
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 court with Marcel Granollers in Spain’s victory over Croatia, propelling the home nation to the quarterfinals.
Rafa had no room for mistakes against Argentina in the quarterfinals, taking down Diego Schwartzman and scoring another win with Granollers to push Spain into the semifinal. Spain lost the opening game against Great Britain and had no room for mistakes.
Nadal stepped in again, delivering two wins and leading his country to the final clash against Canada. Roberto Bautista Agut and Nadal defeated Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime to close a perfect tournament and celebrate the trophy with their fans in the Caja Mágica.
“I was not an option for the Davis Cup this year. The captain knows this from the beginning of the season. If I am representing my country, I must do it with all the passion, confidence and spirit, as I did in Madrid 2019.
This year I am not able to be at that level. I don’t know if I can play Davis Cup again in the future, but I would love to say goodbye to that beautiful competition. I’m getting old and I can’t play everything, despite my desire.
We have Pablo Carreño 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 less chance without Carlos Alcaraz in the team”, said Rafael Nadal.