Nitto ATP Finals 2019: What lies in store for Rafael Nadal?
2019 has been a memorable year for Rafael Nadal, as the southpaw registered a record-extending 12th French Open title and a 4th US Open title as well. Nadal will face his final challenge of the year when he begins his ATP Finals 2019 campaign on November 10th, in pursuit of his first-ever year-end championship win.
Nadal has reached the finals of this event two times in his career - once in 2010 and then in 2013. However, with form on his side this year, he will be looking to clinch his first ATP Finals win and in the process, clinch the year-end No.1 ranking.
One of the major reasons why Nadal, who is a 19-time Grand Slam champion has not won an ATP Finals title is that towards the latter end of the season, he has often picked up injuries, which have forced him to skip the year-end tournaments.
However, when he begins his ATP Finals 2019 campaign on Monday, he will be competing for two major reasons. One will be to catch up with Novak Djokovic's lead of winning the most 'Big Titles', while the second will be to complete the elusive 'Career Super Slam'.
The Big Titles category consists of titles at the Grand Slams, ATP Masters 1000 tournament or the ATP Finals. Post a win at the Paris Masters earlier this year, Novak Djokovic took the lead in the race for the most Big Titles with a total of 55, with Nadal in second place with 54 titles to his name.
The second and more important reason on his mind could be a push to complete the elusive 'Career Super Slam', which is achieved by winning all 4 Grand Slams, the Olympic Gold Medal and the year-end championship, which is the ATP Finals.
This has been achieved by only one tennis star in the men's singles category, Andre Agassi, who etched his name into the history books with a win at the 1999 French Open.
Nadal has already completed the Career Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slams and the Olympic Gold Medal in 2008. If he wins the ATP Finals this year, he may well be considered the greatest player of all time, ahead of Roger Federer in terms of achievements alone.
This edition of the ATP Finals is also the best chance Nadal has to win the title, as he has enjoyed a good year of tennis, and has looked solid even on hard courts. Given that he will also be playing for the year-end World No.1 ranking, one could expect the Spanish superstar to give it his all at the competition.