Nitto ATP Finals : Ruud qualified, Nadal eliminated !

Casper Ruud once again clinches his place in the finals, while Nadal suffers another defeat.

After two days of competition, the green group has almost reached its verdict on Tuesday. The Norwegian defeated Taylor Fritz in his final match (6-3, 4-6, 7-6) to advance to the semis of the Masters. At the same time, Rafael Nadal was beaten by Felix Auger-Aliassime (3-6, 4-6) and is out of the tournament.

New-found determination, steely defences and furious rhythm, Casper Ruud is looking much better. With victories over Auger-Aliassime (7-6, 6-4) and Fritz in the opening rounds of the green group, the world No. 4 has secured his place in the semi-finals. And given his form in recent weeks, it wasn’t a foregone conclusion. After a great season punctuated by three titles and notably two Grand Slam finals (Roland Garros, US Open), the Oslo native has slackened considerably. Four wins (including one in the Davis Cup and one in the Laver Cup) for as many defeats, that’s the balance sheet the Norwegian drew up before Turin, since his major final lost to Alcaraz. But when Casper gets the ball rolling again, it’s all about big fights and a smooth qualification. After 2021, when he took part in the Masters tournament for the first time, the Norwegian repeated his performance this year and reached the final phase of the competition once again.

“I want to be at the highest level again in 2023 and I will die for it”.

This is only the third time in his career that Nadal has lost at least four consecutive matches. It has not happened since November 2009 for the Majorcan, an eternity of 13 years ! His latest 3-6, 4-6 loss to Felix Auger-Aliassime on Tuesday marks his elimination from the Masters. It’s a dark chapter for Rafa, in which his physical form is in sharp decline. But one thing is for sure, the bull is not letting himself be defeated and is looking ahead to 2023: “I don’t think I’ve forgotten how to play tennis and how to be mentally strong. I have to find those positive feelings, the confidence, the mental strength that it takes to be at the level I need. I don’t know if I’ll be able to achieve it, but there’s no doubt that I’ll die for it.”

Will the Spaniard, currently world No. 2, achieve the hoped-for comeback ?

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