Rafael Nadal has been eliminated from the ATP Finals after only two games and will no longer be able to conquer the first position of the ATP ranking against countryman Carlos Alcaraz. The Majorcan would have been certain to end the season at the top of the world rankings by winning the Tournament of Masters undefeated, losing one or two games but taking home the trophy and reaching the final without defeat in the Round Robin matches.
Casper Ruud took care of putting an end to his already precarious hopes. The Norwegian defeated Taylor Fritz in three sets and won the Green Group. The American and Felix Auger-Aliassime will compete for second place in the group in a match from inside or outside.
Nadal and the first position in the ranking: "It's not my goal"
"Obviously, finishing the season as world number one is a great result. It would be an incredible achievement at this stage of my career. On the other hand, I have always said that I would no longer pursue this goal.
It happened because the results put me in this position, which is great. But my body, my age and my personal situation no longer allow me to aim for this goal. Winning two Grand Slams wasn't enough, because I wasn't able to play.
I don't know how many tournaments I've played - 10, 11 or 12." "It's hard to confront and fight against these young guys, who are really strong and able to play as many tournaments as they want. It happened to me too 15 years ago.
Congratulations to Carlos Alcaraz in this case. I am happy for him. This is great news for Spanish sport. He deserved it after a great season." Nadal finally focused on the next match against Ruud, who has grown a lot thanks to the Majorcan academy: "I shared a lot of good times with him, because he was often in Mallorca.
I know his family well; a wonderful family. He is a great guy. I hope it's a good match. I need to keep fighting to end the season in a positive way. I'm not talking about the victory, but about the possibility of offering an image of myself that can somehow help me for next season."