Rafael Nadal struck a positive tone following his early exit at the Paris Masters, looking forward to his 11th appearance at the ATP Finals, which begins November 13 in Turin.The Spaniard has always kept perspective after defeats, and that held true on Wednesday after a 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-1 loss to Tommy Paul in what was Nadal's first match as a father.
"I'm excited about playing [in Turin], even if it hasn't been the perfect couple of months for me, of course," said Nadal, who will be seeking his first title at the ATP Tour's season finale. "But, yeah, nothing to lose. After a good year, going there, just trying my best."
While Nadal has spent time on the practice court since the US Open and competed in doubles alongside Roger Federer at the Laver Cup, he has lacked the usual routine of life on the ATP Tour."At the end, I need days on the Tour," he said in a press conference.
"It's true that for the last five months I didn't spend enough days on the Tour. I don't even say competing on a tennis court; I say on the Tour, practising with the guys. That's what I need. I am going to try - (if) nothing happens, if I am feeling OK - to be there (in Turn) a little bit earlier than usual and have some practices.
"Just give myself a chance to enjoy another Nitto ATP Finals. You never know when is going to be the last, especially at my age. So I'm going to give my best to enjoy this one, and then the next years of course I'm going to fight to be back there."
After a red-hot start to the 2022 season in which he won four titles, including at the Australian Open and Roland Garros, Nadal has played just six matches since Wimbledon and now holds a 38-6 record on the year.
While he said it was "difficult to imagine" himself winning his first year-end trophy this season in his current shape, Nadal took some positives out of his matchup with Paul in Paris."A lot of things going on the last couple of months, without a doubt," he reflected.
"But we are always ready to find excuses, but at the end, it's always the same. You play well, you win; you don't, you lose. And today for moments, putting everything in a pack, I was playing quite well."While he was full of praise for the American, he also rued letting slip his lead in the second set.
"I had my match in that second set with (a) set and break," he said. "I played a terrible game there. Yeah, I didn't deserve the victory playing that bad in that key moment, no. Until that moment it was OK, a good match for me, knowing that is my first match since a while."