ATP Finals: Rafael Nadal finishes his campaign with win over Ruud
Rafael Nadal finished his ATP Finals campaign with a win after he downed Casper Ruud 7-5, 7-5 at the prestigious season-finale, here on Thursday.
The top seed raised his level in his third round-robin match in Green Group, using the fast conditions to his advantage with some trademark clean ball striking. The Spaniard hit 37 winners to Ruud`s 19 and won 93 percent (38/41) of points behind his first serve to seal a one-hour, 43-minute victory and round out his 2022 season on a winning note.
“I have been practising well. Just probably not enough matches to be at the level that I needed to be. Not enough confidence, probably, after six tough months. That`s how it is. I accept that the season didn`t end the way that I wanted, [but] at least I finished with a positive victory,” a philosophical Nadal said after his win.
“It`s important, the last official match of the season, so I am happy about that. In the end, I am happy about that I was able to win against a great player,” he added.
The win means Nadal finishes with a 1-2 record at this year`s season finale. The 36-year-old, who this year lifted four tour-level titles, including major crowns at the Australian Open and Roland Garros, ends 2022 with a 39-8 tour-level record.
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“I can`t ask for more. 2022 has had a tough six months, two Grand Slams, and finishing the year in a high spot in the rankings. So, I can`t complain at all. At my age, to be able to achieve and be competitive means a lot for me,” said Nadal.
“For 2023, just let`s try to have the right preparation, work the proper way and start the season with the right energy, the right attitude, to reach the level that I need to be competitive from the beginning. Let`s try it, I am excited about it,” he added.
Despite Thursday`s defeat, Ruud progresses to the semi-finals in Turin for the second consecutive year.
Joining the Norwegian in qualifying for the semifinals from Green Group will be Felix Auger-Aliassime or Taylor Fritz. The duo faces off in a winner-takes-all clash in Thursday`s night session at the Pala Alpitour.
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