Rafael Nadal has lost four consecutive matches for the third time in his career! The 36-year-old Spaniard missed two months following an early US Open exit, and he knew it would not be easy to find the rhythm during the indoor swing.
Still, Rafa gave his best to compete and finish the season with some momentum. He fell to Tommy Paul in three sets in Paris before embracing his 11th ATP Finals campaign. The Spaniard fought well against Taylor Fritz in the opening set before losing 7-6, 6-1.
Rafa faced another young gun Felix Auger-Aliassime in the second round-robin clash and experienced a 6-3, 6-4 loss in an hour and 57 minutes. Thus, Nadal embraced his worst streak since 2009, with low hopes ahead of the last's group match against Casper Ruud.
Also, Rafa lost a chance to fight for the year-end no. 1 honor with Carlos Alcaraz, with a teenager becoming the youngest player to achieve this honor.
Rafael Nadal suffered a straight-sets loss to Felix Auger-Aliassime in Turin.
Felix was the favorite to score his first victory over Rafa, and he proved that on the court.
The Canadian came to Turin after three consecutive indoor titles and will have a chance to play in the ATP Finals semi-final on his debut if he scores another win against Taylor Fritz on Thursday. Felix saved all five break points and dominated the shortest exchanges after firing 15 aces.
Nadal could not do much with his initial shot, losing ground in the rallies and experiencing one break in each set to propel the rival over the finish line. Auger-Aliassime saved break points in two challenging games in the opener to move 4-3 in front.
He broke Nadal in game eight to build the advantage and closed the opener with a hold at 15 in game nine for 6-3. Playing with no confidence, Rafa lost serve in the second set's third game from 40-15 up and fended off another break chance two games later to avoid a complete disaster.
Felix erased a break point in game six, and Rafa served to stay in the match at 3-5. The Spaniard closed the ninth game with service winners, and the Canadian served for the triumph at 5-4. Auger-Aliassime kicked it off with a service winner and landed a volley winner for 30-0.
Nadal extended the game with a backhand crosscourt winner before his rival placed a forehand winner for two match points. Felix seized the first with a service winner to celebrate his first ATP Finals victory.