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"Oh, big time" - Daniela Hantuchova on Rafael Nadal's hunger to win ATP Finals

Rafael Nadal at the Nitto ATP Finals
Rafael Nadal at the Nitto ATP Finals
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Modified 18 Nov 2020, 00:18 IST
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Former WTA top 5 player Daniela Hantuchova believes that Rafael Nadal is desperate to win the season-ending ATP Finals at London this year. But Hantuchova, who is now an analyst for Amazon Prime, also added that the Spaniard would likely be happy with his career even if he retired without winning the title.

Rafael Nadal has played the ATP Finals on nine occasions in the past but has never won the title. The season-ending championship is considered the most prestigious tournament outside of the four Grand Slams, but Nadal's best performances have been runner-up finishes in 2010 and 2013. He has also reached the semifinals on three other occasions.

"Oh big time," said Hantuchova, when asked about Nadal's hunger to win his first season-ending title. "I think this is the title that he's missing and he wants people to stop talking about it. But at the same time, I think he's accepting that if it doesn't happen to him, then he's still going to retire being very happy. So he's not going to be losing any sleep over this title."

Rafael Nadal travelling with two coaches to the ATP Finals for the first time: Greg Rusedski

Rafael Nadal with his coaches Carlos Moya and Francisco Roig during a training session.
Rafael Nadal with his coaches Carlos Moya and Francisco Roig during a training session.

Former US Open finalist Greg Rusedski, who is also a tennis analyst on Amazon Prime, observed that Rafael Nadal is in London with both his coaches - Carlos Moya and Francisco Roig. According to the Brit, this is the first time the Spaniard has done that.

Rusedski claims that Nadal's strategy of travelling with two coaches is an indication that he may be trying something different in order to get over his hump at the ATP Finals.

"Usually, it's only one coach that travels with him, his physical trainer, physio and the rest of the team. So Rafael Nadal's trying something a little bit different," Rusedski said. "It's a question mark whether it's a tactical thing or is that because he's not quite sure what he needs to do indoors to get the job done at these ATP Finals."

Rafael Nadal won his opening match at this year's event, beating Andrey Rublev in straight sets. However, he went down in two tiebreakers to US Open champion Dominic Thiem in his second match on Tuesday.

Published 17 Nov 2020, 22:19 IST
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