Rafael Nadal always feels at home in Paris, achieving 14 of his 22 Major titles in the French capital. Rafa has played 27 ATP tournaments in Paris since 2005, with mixed success. The king of clay conquered 14 out of 18 Roland Garros titles since, while never achieving anything like that at the Paris Masters.
Nadal has never been a fan of indoor tennis, although he almost went all the way on his Paris Masters debut in 2007, reaching the title clash and losing to David Nalbandian. It was Nadal's only chance to secure a notable indoor trophy, losing four more semi-finals and experiencing an early exit this week.
Rafa is 7-1 in Paris this year, securing his 14th Roland Garros trophy and suffering the second-round defeat that Paris Masters to Tommy Paul.
Rafael Nadal will return to Paris in May next year for Roland Garros.
Nadal said goodbye to Paris after hitting the exit door, saying he would return in May next year while seeking his 15th Roland Garros title.
Rafa was not a clear favorite in Paris this spring, suffering from foot pain and requiring injections ahead of every match. The king of clay overcame all the obstacles to go all the way and write history books. Nadal passed the opening three rounds without losing a set before facing Felix Auger-Aliassime.
The Spaniard needed five sets to topple the young gun, losing a lot of energy ahead of a mouthwatering quarter-final duel with Novak Djokovic. Nadal ousted his great rival in four sets after four hours and 11 minutes to advance into the semi-final.
He had to work even harder there, playing the second set's closing stages against Alexander Zverev and only leading 7-6, 6-6! The German hurt his ankle and retired in tears, propelling Nadal to his 14th Roland Garros title clash.
Rafa faced Casper Ruud in the final and delivered a convincing 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 triumph to secure the 22nd Major crown. Nadal returned to Paris five months later, seeking his first Paris Masters crown. Facing Tommy Paul in his first match in almost two months, Rafa experienced a 3-6, 7-6, 6-1 loss in two and a half hours.
Nadal was a set and a break in front before Paul erased the deficit, claimed the second set's tie break and dominated the decider to achieve a career-best victory.