Fantastic news from Rafael Nadal that feels fit to play the ATP Finals.
The Spanish legend was struggling with an abdominal injury that made him retire from the recent Masters in Paris. The Spanish sensation was comfortably leading the year to date rankings (1280 points) to be a strong candidate to end the season as the world no.1 However, after his retirement in France and following Novak Djokovic’s triumph in the event, Nadal’s lead over the Serb shrank to 640 points.
The question about Nadal’s injury
The big question mark was if Rafa was fit to compete in London. The King of Clay decided to go to the UK to practice and test his body. The good news is that he is quite optimistic about competing. If Nadal wins at least 2 matches in the round-robin, Djokovic needs to win the tournament to get back his world no.1 rank. This would be of great significance for Djokovic that wants to break Federer’s record that led the rankings for 310 weeks.
When Nadal arrived in London, commented:
“I need to go day by day. I’m happy to be here because after last Saturday in Paris I didn’t know if I would have the chance to be here.
So I’m excited to be here after a couple of years without being able to play. I need to see how things evolve every single day. I have good hopes to be 100 per cent ready for Monday.”
About his current fitness
Rafa’s abdominal injury was creating problems with his serve. The Spanish legend commented:
“I started [practicing the serve] yesterday, very slow.
I know I have been playing well in Paris, and for me, the main goal is to be healthy for Monday. I have been serving very well in Bercy; I had good matches, so I am confident that I can be very competitive, but of course, it’s a tournament that you will face the top guys from the beginning so you need to be 100 per cent ready.
But I really hope I will be able to serve every single day a little better and my hope is to be on Sunday serving normal.”
H2H and prediction Nadal vs. Zverev
Next in line for Nadal is Zverev. Rafael and Alexander played each other 5 times. The head to head is 5-0 for Nadal. The last time that they competed against each other, Rafael Nadal won 6-1 1-6 6-3 in the final in Rome in May 2018.
Rafa is expected to win in 3 sets. 2 would be the best for him given his condition.
Rafael Nadal’s ranking and performance in 2019
This year Rafael has a 50-6 win-loss record. Rafael conquered 4 titles in 2019 in Rome, at the French Open, in Montreal, and at the U.S. Open. Nadal was the finalist at the Australian Open.
Alexander Zverev’s ranking and performance in 2019
Ranked no.7, Alexander played his last match on the 31st of October when he lost to Denis Shapovalov 6-2 5-7 6-2 in the 3rd round in Paris.
This year Alexander has a 39-22 win-loss record. The German conquered 1 title in Geneva. Alexander was the finalist in Acapulco and in Shanghai.