20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal didn't hide his happiness after clinching a key win over top-ranked Greek tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas to clinch a semifinal place at the Nitto ATP Finals. Nadal, ranked at No.
2 in the world, overcame world No. 6 Tsitsipas in three sets 6-4 4-6 6-2 in his final Round Robin match at The O2 Arena and finish his group with a 2-1 record. "[To] be in the semi-finals here, in the last tournament of the year, is an important thing," Nadal said after the match, per the Nitto ATP Finals website.
"[I am] happy for that and I am looking forward to the semi-finals against Daniil [Medvedev]”. Last year, Nadal finished the Round Robin stage with a 2-1 record but still it wasn't enough for him to make the semifinal at The O2 Arena.
Nadal, who is aiming to lift his maiden Nitto ATP Finals title at the age of 34, has now been through to his first semifinal at The O2 Arena since 2015. “I still won two matches like last year,” Nadal said. “Last year, I was a little bit unlucky not to be in the semi-finals.
The year before I had to pull out. It is always difficult to play here against the best players in the world every single day [at the] end of the season. Most of the time, you get here a little bit tired, but this year is a little bit different… I am just excited to be in the semi-finals and I hope to be ready to try my best”.
Nadal thinks it was a positive performance against Tsitsipas
Nadal controlled the match until the 10th game of the second set, when he dropped his serve while serving to stay in the set. "I think I played quite well for such a long time,” Nadal said.
“That game at 5-4 in the second [set] affected [the match] a little bit. I lost the second [set] and then I was able to have the break in third [set] earlier, but then he broke me back. “I thought I was winning my serves quite comfortably until that moment.
After that, everything changed a little bit. I think I started to serve a little bit worse but, in general terms, it [was] a very positive match for me." Nadal will be fighting against world No. 4 Daniil Medvedev for a place in the final at The O2 Arena.