The ATP Finals greeted London for the last time with Daniil Medvedev's victory in the final over Dominic Thiem. The Russian struck ten consecutive victories by winning the Paris-Bercy Masters 1000 and the Finals, as well as defeating both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal along the way in the English capital.
According to numerous fans and insiders, the Spanish phenomenon has missed a huge opportunity to conquer the Masters for the first time in his career. Rafa led 6-3 5-4 in the semifinal over the Muscovite, but he had to cash in on Medvedev's comeback by giving up in the third set.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion was hoping to add one of the few missing trophies to his showcase, which has always eluded him due to its surface area and schedule. Everyone knows that the 13-time Roland Garros champion expresses his best tennis on clay, despite having also triumphed at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.
According to former World number 1 Andy Murray, playing on the same pitch for over two decades hasn't helped Rafa.
Murray on Rafael Nadal
World No. 2 has always been the fiercest competitor; however, he has failed 10 times in the year-end championships.
Out of the 10, he has made it to the final twice losing to Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Andy Murray said, “It’s definitely one he would like to have won”. It is unknown to none that the 13 time French Open champion plays best on clay courts.
According to Murray, playing on the same court for over two decades has a lot to do with Rafael Nadal’s results. Murray said, “It’s just not his best surface and it’s possible that if it was played on clay for the last 10-12 years, then maybe he would have won it six or seven times.
So, as for sure that the surface has been a contributing factor. It all comes down to preference and game styles and matchups and there’s lots of reasons,” said Murray. He continued, “Rafa would have been highly motivated and really wanting to win this event.
But, just a difficult surface for him against the top players”. The record for most Grand Slam titles in men's tennis (he is currently tied with Roger Federer at 20 with Djokovic three behind at 17), and a record-extending 14th French Open title, will likely be at the top of his priority list for next season.
"My goal is always the same: to go to every tournament and to give myself a chance to compete well and to try to win it," Rafael Nadal said.