Rafael Nadal: 'I have accomplished more than enough to feel pressure, it wasn't..'



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Rafael Nadal: 'I have accomplished more than enough to feel pressure, it wasn't..'

Competing in his first ATP Finals semi-final since 2015, Rafael Nadal had a massive chance to advance into the third final at the event he has never won. Rafa led 6-3, 5-4 against Daniil Medvedev, but instead of bringing the encounter home in under an hour and a half, the Spaniard allowed the opponent to bounce back and score a 3-6, 7-6, 6-3 triumph, staying empty-handed in his tenth ATP Finals campaign.

In his post-match interview, Nadal denied it was the pressure that cost him the victory in that crucial game, saying he has accomplished enough over the previous 15 years not to feel it. Medvedev prevailed in two hours and 35 minutes, scoring a vital break at 4-5 in set number two when Rafa served for the win and never looking back.

Daniil had 42 winners and 29 unforced errors, leaving Rafa on a 22-30 ratio and securing a place in the final. The Russian secured the advantage in the most advanced rallies, saving his best tennis for the last four games to seal the deal and set Dominic Thiem clash.

Nadal kicked off the battle with a hold at 30 after forcing a backhand error from Medvedev, having to dig deep in game three. The Spaniard fended off three break chances and brought it home with a service winner to avoid an early setback.

Daniil secured the fourth game with an unreturned serve and locked the result for the third time in game six. The younger player did his best to remain in touch with Rafa from the baseline but lost ground at 3-4, sending a forehand long to suffer a break at love and allowing Rafa to seal the set on his serve for 6-3.

Medvedev was the more aggressive player in set number two, hitting 21 winners and ten unforced errors. Medvedev won 12 of the second set's opening 13 points, securing a break in game two after a double fault from the Spaniard.

Daniil landed an ace to open a 4-1 advantage, creating another break chance in the next one. Nadal saved it to reduce the deficit and pulled the break with a forehand winner to move 3-4 down.

Rafael Nadal served for the victory against Daniil Medvedev in London.

Rafa held at 15 and scored another break in game nine, looking good to seal the deal at 5-4.

Instead of bringing the encounter home, the Spaniard suffered a costly break at love to keep Medvedev in contention and lose ground. The Russian secured a tie break 7-4 after forcing Nadal's error, bringing the decider after an hour and 47 minutes.

A smash winner clinched a break for Daniil at 3-3, cementing the advantage with a solid forehand attack and returning at 5-3. Medvedev grabbed another break in game nine to move over the top and advance into the title clash against Dominic Thiem.

"I don't think there was any pressure; I have achieved enough not to find any excuse about those challenging moments. I won some matches and tournaments from even more difficult situations than the one against Daniil, and I don't feel that was the case.

I was nervous while serving for the match, and it's normal to feel the tension. Daniil played a couple of good points, and I made a couple of mistakes. He played better in the tie break to bring a decider, where I should have won the game when I got broken, missing that easy volley. Small details made a big difference, and I want to say well done to him," Rafael Nadal said.