Casper Ruud and Rafael Nadal will arrive with scenarios radically opposite to their commitment to the group stage at the ATP Finals 2022. The 23-year-old Norwegian tennis player and current number four in the world has left great sensations in his first two games in Turin and Now he will try to complete the perfect phase when he faces his idol Rafael Nadal.
Ruud and Nadal have already met once on the circuit, with the Spaniard winning the Roland Garros final. In a few weeks they will make an exhibition tour of Latin America, but first they will do so in an official clash in the "Tournament of Masters".
“You can never feel comfortable playing against Rafa, no matter what form he is in or what situation he is in. I mean, he's had two tough losses here. However, the match is going to be in very different conditions than when we played at Roland Garros this year, that's for sure.
It's not best-of-five, it's hard court. Everything is different. But you can never rule Rafa out. He has proven it many times. Every match here is important. You play for points and for the ranking. I'm sure he would like to seek some kind of revenge for his two losses and end his season on a high note.
Obviously for me it would be a dream feeling to leave the group with three wins. But the next one is going to be probably the hardest match of my career, due to the fact that he has also been my biggest idol for my whole life.
It's always going to be a little more special to play against him,” Ruud commented after his win over Taylor Fritz. "I'm going to try to win. I think you never know if you're going to play these guys so big they're getting old again.
I know that I will play Rafa five more times in the next few weeks in an exhibition, but in an official match, it is different. It is his last game of the season and he will try to give his best to try to win it."
Moya comments on Nadal
Rafael Nadal's coach Carlos Moya believes that despite the injury struggles in recent months, his charge will be ready for the 2023 season.
"He is willing to still keep evolving and being competitive, so as long as that happens and his body holds up well he will be ready," Moya said. "He will be ready for next year, he is motivated, he has proved he can still play well and be a contender to win big tournaments.
He’s won two Slams, when you win two Slams in a year it’s always a good year, no matter what happens after that. He has been a bit unlucky with injuries, two bad injuries during the year, but he’s a great competitor and fighter, and we don’t give up and we still believe there is a chance to play well here," he stated.