World no. 1 Rafael Nadal had another incredible year under his belt, claiming two Majors and two Masters 1000 trophies together with that brilliant Davis Cup Finals performance in Madrid. Securing the year-end no. 1 honor for the fifth time, Rafa joined an exclusive list of players and will seek more of that in 2020, motivated to chase more big trophies and records in the year when he turns 34.
Just a couple of weeks after lifting the Davis Cup trophy in Madrid with his teammates, Rafa has added another crown to his cabinet, becoming the first player with five Mubadala World Tennis Championship titles. In the final on Saturday, Nadal took down Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7, 7-5, 7-6 in more than three hours, with both players giving their 120% in what was one of the best matches in 12 editions of this prestigious offseason event.
The opponents were pushing each other to the limits all the time, with Stefanos who saved set points in the opener and Rafa who stood on the verge of defeat in set number two before recovering to set up the final set where he prevailed in the tie break to lift the crown.
Praising the event and organizers, Rafa hopes to return to Abu Dhabi next year as well, thrilled with the way he competed in those two matches and hoping for more of the same in the upcoming challenges in Australia in January.
"I played in Abu Dhabi ten times, why not 11? Honestly, you never know, I'm always one year older every time but hopefully, I stay healthy and compete here again. It's a tournament I like so much and I always have great feelings here," Nadal said.
"Thank you to the crowd for an amazing year, their support is always astonishing. Thank you Abu Dhabi and thank you to Mubadala - please continue your support of tennis. I was a little bit surprised the way that I played.
I have been playing well at the end of the season. And it was just 15 days ago or a little bit more when I was winning the Davis Cup with Spain with the rest of the guys, so things went quick. And at some point, it's negative that we didn't have a lot of time between seasons, but on the other hand, I finished playing well and that helps to keep going playing well."