Rafael Nadal is competing in London to win his first ATP Finals and finish the year at the top of the rankings. However, his run hasn’t started that well with Nadal stumbling at the very first hurdle against Sascha Zverev that defeated the King of Clay without dropping a single set (6-2 6-4).
Nadal’s abdominal injury
Rafa’s chances at the O2 were marred by an abdominal injury that made him retire before playing the semifinals in Paris against Denis Shapovalov 2 weeks ago. However, the world no.1 was optimistic about his fitness ahead of his unfortunate clash against Zverev.
During the press conference following his opening match in London, Rafa reassured that he was not struggling with his body to comment:
“It was not a problem with the abdominal at all. I did not feel pain in the abdominal at all. No, just Sascha [Zverev], well played, and me, bad played, honestly. We can find reasons or excuses, but at the end of the day, what all really matters is I need to play much better in two days after tomorrow.
That’s the only thing. Yeah, we knew that going to be tough at the beginning, because the period of time since the injury until today is very short, but we are here trying, and that’s it, no? I stay positive. I stay competitive, something that today I was not.”
Next vs. Medvedev
Rafa will face Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday for the 3rd time in 2019, and for the first time in a match that it is not a final. In fact, they locked horns in the Rogers Cup and the US Open finals in recent months, with Rafa being successful on both occasions. It’s quite tricky to predict who will be the favorite.
Rafael Nadal’s ranking and performance in 2019
Now ranked no.1, Nadal played his last match on the 11th of November when he was overcome by Alexander Zverev 6-2 6-4 in the Round Robin in London.
This year Rafael has a 50-7 win-loss record. The Spaniard clinched 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.
Daniil Medvedev’s ranking and performance in 2019
Ranked no.4 (career-high), Medvedev played his last match on the 11th of November when he capitulated to Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-65 6-4 in the R in London.
This year Daniil has a 58-19 win-loss record. Daniil clinched 4 titles in 2019 in Sofia, in Cincinnati, in St. Petersburg and in Shanghai. The Russian was the finalist in Brisbane, in Barcelona, in Washington, in Montreal and at the U.S. Open.
Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev played each other 2 times. The head to head is 2-0 for Nadal.
The last time that they competed against each other, Rafael Nadal won 7-5 6-3 5-7 4-6 6-4 in the final in U.S. Open on the 08th September 2019.
Here the highlights.
|Embed from Getty Images|