Rafael Nadal's coach Carlos Moya has opined that Novak Djokovic is now the favorite to win his sixth ATP Finals title after Nadal's hopes of making it past the group stage ended following his loss to Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Carlos Moya is a former World No. 1. The Spaniard won the Roland Garros singles title in 1998. He was also part of the Spanish team that won the 2004 Davis Cup.
In a recent interview with Marca, Moya reflected on Rafael Nadal's performance at the ATP Finals in Turin, pointing out that he got better with each match. The 46-year-old, however, admitted that the tournament did not go as expected for the 22-time Major winner.
"Ending up winning is not bad even though it was known that nothing was at stake. Rafa has shown his face and has played the best game of the week. He has gone from less to more throughout the week. At certain times when he could things have changed, with the 'break' points... It has not been the tournament we expected," Moya said.
Moya stated that although Nadal's preparations ahead of the ATP Finals were good, "putting it into practice" turned out to be a problem.
"Yes, it has cost him in the matches and it is something that is not usual for him. We arrived last Tuesday and he has made sets and the game had been good and well adapted to what the surface is. Putting it into practice in the matches is which has cost him a little more," Moya said.
Moya went on to say that Novak Djokovic is "a little above the others" and is the clear favorite to win the season-ending championship.
"I think that Djokovic from what I have seen is the one who is playing the best, but anything can happen. At the moment, he is the one that I see a little above the others," he added.
Djokovic won his first two matches in the group and has already qualified for the semifinals.
Rafael Nadal ends 2022 season with a win
Rafael Nadal ended his season with a win over Casper Ruud in the ATP Finals on Thursday. The match was a dead rubber as Nadal had already been ousted from the tournament with losses in his first two matches, while Ruud had already made the semifinals.
True to his character, however, Nadal played his best match of the week, beating the Norwegian 7-5, 7-5 in an hour and 45 minutes.
The 36-year-old has won two Grand Slam singles titles this year — the Australian Open and Roland Garros and holds the record for the most Majors won by a man (22).