Rafael Nadal raised his level in the last match of the season and scored his first ATP Finals victory in Turin. A 22-time Major winner prevailed over a good friend Casper Ruud 7-5, 7-5 in an hour 43 minutes to wrap up the year in a winning way following four straight losses since the US Open.
Nadal lost only six games against Ruud in the Roland Garros final in June. As was expected, he had to work much harder to remain unbeaten against the Norwegian in Turin, struggling for months with an injury and losing form and confidence.
Rafael Nadal wrapped up the 2022 with a win and confidence.
Nadal lost the crucial points against Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger-Aliassime in the opening round-robin encounters, which was not the case against Ruud. Nadal produced fury from his initial shot and dropped 11 points in his games.
He fended off two break points in the first set's closing stages and kept the pressure on the other side. Ruud fought well and stayed in touch with world no. 2 until the last moments of both sets. The Norwegian experienced a break at love at 5-6 in the opener, with nothing to separate them in set number two.
Nadal stayed focused in the closing stages and delivered his second break to emerge at the top to prevent his worst streak on the Tour since 2003-2004. Rafa served on a high level and dictated the pace in the shortest and more advanced rallies to earn the victory and 200 ATP Points.