Rafael Nadal couldn’t find closure in his ATP Finals semifinal loss to Daniil Medvedev.
The second-ranked Spaniard’s goal for 2021 remains clear: Prepare to win every tournament he enters.
“My goal is always the same: to go to every tournament and to give myself a chance to compete well and to try to win it,” Nadal said after his 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 loss to Medvedev. “That’s the goal of every year. My motivation have been always the same. Next year gonna be an important year.
“I hope to be ready to fight for the things that I want to fight. I’m going to work hard during the off-season to be ready for the beginning.”
In a rematch of the 2019 US Open final, Nadal served for the ATP Final title match at 6-3, 5-4 only to see Medvedev break back at love.
The Paris Rolex Masters champion beat the 20-time Grand Slam champion for the first time in four meetings scoring his ninth straight win. Nadal wraps the 2020 season with a 27-7 record and two titles, including his 13th Roland Garros championship.
More #NittoATPFinals heartbreak for Nadal
BUT 2020 has brought:
13th(!) Roland-Garros 🏆
Another World No.2 finish ✅
See you in 2021, Rafa! pic.twitter.com/z9C1IuohgI
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 21, 2020
Afterward, Nadal said he felt the nerves serving for the final, but simply played a bad game at the worst possible time.
“I think I achieved enough to not find an excuse about the pressure,” Nadal said. “I know I won enough matches and enough tournaments in an even more difficult situation than this one and even in more important matches than tonight. So I don’t feel that way.
I feel I played a bad game. Of course you are nervous to win the match. But not me. Everybody. Is normal to have the tension. I think he played some good points and I make a couple of mistakes.”
The fourth-ranked Russian denied Nadal’s quest to win his first ATP Finals championship.
“And that’s it, and then he played a good tiebreak,” Nadal said. “Yeah. And I played, I should be winning my serve in the third, the one that I lost. I had easy volley to close the game. Small details makes a big difference. Just well done for him and not enough good for me.”
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