The 20-time Major champion Rafael Nadal has arrived in Paris, leading the field of the last Masters 1000 event of the season. Following the 13th crown at Roland Garros, Nadal wasn't sure about competing at the Paris Masters and the ATP Finals.
Last Tuesday, the Spaniard decided to enter the Masters 1000 event in the French capital, seeking one of the rare notable titles he is missing in his collection. Rafa made a debut in Paris in 2007, reaching the final and taking only four games against David Nalbandian to settle with the runner-up prize.
Suffering many injuries in the post-US Open months, Nadal was never the favorite on an indoor hard court, reaching three more semi-finals in Paris but never fighting for the title again. Twelve months ago, Nadal advanced into the semi-final following a victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, withdrawing with an abdominal injury ahead of Denis Shapovalov clash and sending the young Canadian into the final against Novak Djokovic.
After proper and well-deserved rest, Rafa will seek back-to-back crowns in Paris following the historic Roland Garros success, standing as the top seed as the defending champion Novak Djokovic decided to skip Paris. Nadal had been working on an indoor hard court at his Academy, preparing for Paris and the ATP Finals, another important event where he has failed to lift the trophy so far.
Nadal has played only five tournaments in 2020, winning two ATP crowns. Rafa led Spain at the ATP Cup and lost to Novak Djokovic in the title match.
Rafael Nadal will be the top seed at the Paris Masters next week.
At the Australian Open, the Spaniard reached the quarters, losing to Dominic Thiem and handing the ATP throne to Novak Djokovic, who defeated the Austrian in the final.
At the end of February, Nadal was the dominant figure in Acapulco, dropping 25 games in ten sets to claim the 85th ATP title, the last one before the coronavirus outbreak. Spending the next six months at home, Nadal stayed away from the tennis court in March and April, starting to practice in May and not liking New York conditions ahead of Cincinnati and the US Open.
The Spaniard skipped both events, keeping 2000 points for the US Open title from the last year and focusing on Rome and Roland Garros. Rafa failed to lift another trophy in Rome, losing to Diego Schwartzman in the quarters and entering uncharted territories in Paris, dealing with cold and rainy weather and a roof above Philippe-Chatrier.
Standing above the conditions and all the rivals, Nadal claimed the 13th Roland Garros crown, never losing a set and joining Roger Federer on that ultimate record of 20 Major trophies. Saving the entire season, Nadal will now seek the 36th Masters 1000 crown at the other Parisian ATP tournament, the one he never won in the past.