Rafael Nadal made his first ATP appearance in 2006, qualified 16 times in a row and attended the event ten times. It has always been a tough indoor surface in Shanghai and London, and between 2021 and 2025, the same surface was waiting for players in Turin.
After his ten trips to the ATP Finals, Nadal has yet to win the crown and lost the title fight in 2010 and 2013 against Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Last week, Spaniard Andrey Rublev and Stefanos defeated Tsitsipas to reach the first semi-final since 2015.
He played well and served for the win against Daniil Medvedev. In the end, the Russian turned the tables and scored a 3-6, 7-6, 6-3 victory. It went on to the first final of this event, leaving Nadal empty handed.
After the game, Rafa said he couldn’t talk about the face change at that moment, that he reached the semifinals and had a chance to go further. The Spaniard said he had an opinion on the matter and was saving it for another discussion.
Outside of hard surfaces and carpet, grass had only one edition in the 1974 ATP Finals and there was no competition on sand during those five decades. Of course, Nadal has said for years that he would love to see at least a small face change and a couple of ATP finals on the slowest surface.
However, the ATP has not considered this and has retained the most common surface year-on-year since 2006. Nadal only played six tournaments prior to the ATP Finals in 2020 and was fresh and ready to go on after the crown in London.
It started with a win over Andrey Rublev.
Nadal didn’t want to talk about the face of the ATP Finals
In the second game there was a clash of the titans where Dominic Thiem won two defeats against Nadal, although the Spaniard had chances in both sets.
In the last red robin, Rafa Stefanos defeated Ttsitsipas in three sets for the first semi-final since 2015 and faced Daniil Medvedev in the final. As we said earlier, Nadal got off to a great start and was nearing the finish line, losing ground at the worst possible moment and allowing Russia to force a third set.
Daniil got a boost now, winning four straight games in the third set to cross the finish line first and end Nadal’s campaign in the final four. “This is not the time to talk about the face of the ATP Finals.
I have my personal opinion, but I also have to accept the status quo. I reached the semifinals and had a chance to go further. I didn’t play well in the moments when I could have finished the match; it doesn’t matter about other things now, “said Rafael Nadal.