Rafa: 'I'm Not Sure If I Will Watch Or Not'
Rafael Nadal has done his part, beating Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-5 on Friday to finish 2-1 in Group Andre Agassi. Now the World No. 1 waits to learn his weekend fate.
If defending champion Alexander Zverev wins the final Group Andre Agassi match on Friday evening, the German will win the group and Tsitsipas, who is also 2-1, will finish second. But if fourth seed Daniil Medvedev can earn his first win of the tournament and beat Zverev, Nadal will win the group and Tsitsipas will finish second.
“I'm not sure if I'm going to watch the match or not. I don't know. The only thing that is sure is I have to be ready for anything, so I think I did my work and I did it well,” Nadal said. “[I'm] happy for the victory. Now I have to wait.”
Should Medvedev win, on Saturday afternoon, Nadal would face Roger Federer, who finished second in Group Bjorn Borg behind Austrian Dominic Thiem. The two would be meeting for the 41st time in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.
Nadal leads 24-16 and won their last matchup at the Nitto ATP Finals in 2013, but Federer has won six of their past seven, including their Wimbledon semi-final in July.
“It is one of the surfaces that he feels comfortable on. He plays so well. He plays so fast. So I need to play a perfect match tomorrow if I want to have any chance to be in that final,” Nadal said.
“I think I am playing better, but it's true that Roger yesterday played unbelievable. So he will come to that match with plenty of confidence. So let's see. I hope to be ready to compete at the highest level possible if that's the case.”
Should Zverev win and Nadal not make the semi-finals, however, the Spaniard will leave London feeling positive about his game. After a slow start against the seventh-seeded Zverev on Monday night, the year-end World No. 1 bounced back with two victories, including a comeback win against Medvedev on Wednesday in which Nadal saved a match point at 1-5 in the third set.
“I know how I arrived here. I know the preparation [was] very short for me and not the ideal one after the injury in Bercy,” Nadal said.
“For me, it was important to give [myself] a chance to compete better than what I did the first day. The first day [was] a tough day.
“It's the worst tournament possible to arrive without the best preparation possible, because in other tournaments sometimes you can be a little bit more lucky with the draw... But here, the first day you play one of the best players of the world on a tough surface. So if you don't arrive with plenty of confidence on your body and your movements and everything, things become much more difficult. And I think that's what happened. Then I think I have been improving my tennis every day.”
Nadal was reminded how much he's improved and achieved this year after his 53rd win when he was honoured on-court with the ATP Tour No. 1 trophy.
“This trophy is the work of the whole year, a great year in all terms. To have this trophy with me is a big personal satisfaction,” Nadal said.
“I think we did a lot of things well during the whole year. Of course the team and the family played a very important role this year, even more than other times because [there] have been some tough moments at the beginning of the season, in terms of physical issues that demoralised me a little bit. So they played a very important role, so I can't thank all of them enough for all the support.”