Rafael Nadal’s quest for a maiden Paris Masters title ended on Saturday with a 6-4, 7-5 semifinal loss to Alexander Zverev. However, the Spaniard remains upbeat about his chances at the upcoming Nitto ATP Finals in London given the way he adjusted to the indoor conditions at Bercy.
Despite being unable to win a record-equaling 36th Masters 1000 title, Rafael Nadal believes that his stint at the tournament wasn’t an entirely fruitless one. The eight-odd hours that he spent on the court was one of the positives that the Mallorcan cited, expressing belief that this could potentially serve him well at the ATP Finals.
“It has not been not a bad tournament,” Nadal said. “I spent hours on court. Of course I wanted to win the tournament, but it's always difficult. But I had the right attitude during the whole event, I think, fighting in every match. That gave me the chance to play four matches that I think will be helpful for London.”
Rafael Nadal then acknowledged the superiority of Alexander Zverev on the day and also praised the German’s recent form on the surface. The Spaniard admitted that he wasn’t happy about the defeat, but wholeheartedly accepted the result.
“I have been there until the end against a player who is playing great on a surface that he's winning a lot,” Nadal said. “[It] has been a positive tournament for me. Of course [I am] not happy about the loss, but that's part of the game. I played against a great player, and I accept the defeat. He played a little bit better than me.”
Nadal also revealed that he would be working on a few specific aspects in the coming week to fine-tune his game ahead of the final event of the year in London.
“I need to adjust a couple of things, but I am doing well on all the important things,” Nadal said. “I have one week and a little bit more to keep working, and I hope be ready for it.”
You can't say it's not normal that I don't win a Masters: Rafael Nadal on his relatively poor record at the Paris Masters
The Paris Masters is one of the worst-performing events on the calendar for Rafael Nadal. The Mallorcan has just one final to date at the venue, which was back in 2007.
Nadal has also missed the event a whopping six different times due to fitness issues.
In the editions that he has taken part, the Spaniard has usually been thwarted by a big-hitting opponent or succumbed to injury. That led to a member of the press conference quizzing him about his poor record at the tournament.
Rafael Nadal admitted that the playing surface in the tournament was ‘difficult’ for him. The fact that this event is usually the first indoor tournament for him during this part of the season, makes matters even trickier.
At the end of the day, however, Nadal believes that not winning one Masters 1000 event is nothing unusual given that the field is always packed with quality players.
"Why I never won here in Paris? The surface is difficult,” Nadal acknowledged. "Generally it's my first tournament indoor. But you can't say it's not normal that I don't win a Masters 1000. Here you have the best players in the world and there's no point in losing when the opponent is better."Published 08 Nov 2020, 14:34 IST