Rafael Nadal became the fifth man to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals. Despite the “disappointing” year for the Spanish number one, he has still managed to qualify for the prestigious event in the O2 Arena. He qualified after his strong showing in Shanghai, making the semifinal before losing to eventual runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Nadal’s Season In Review
The Spaniard picked up his first notable result in Melbourne Park in the first major of the year Down Under. He made it to the quarterfinals before getting blasted by Tomas Berdych in straight sets in the quarterfinals. Nadal picked up his first title of the season in Buenos Aires, defeating four Argentines en route to the title.
On the North American hard court swing, he made it to the quarterfinals in Indian Wells, losing to Milos Raonic despite having match points.
We move on to Nadal’s favorite surface of clay. In Monte Carlo, the 29-year-old ran into world number one Novak Djokovic in the semifinals where he lost three and three. After a subpar showing in Barcelona, a loss in his second match to Fabio Fognini, he took advantage of a Djokovic-less draw in Madrid where he made the final. However, he was shocked by a devastatingly efficient Andy Murray who took him out.
The Spaniard once again lifted a grass court title, winning on the new grass court event in Stuttgart. He’d win another title in Germany, this time post-Wimbledon, in Hamburg.
Nadal did noticeably better on the Asian hard courts making back-to-back semifinals (one finals appearance), more than he’s made all year. He reached the final of the China Open before losing to Djokovic and lost in a thrilling three-setter to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semifinal of the Shanghai Rolex Masters as mentioned earlier.
Nadal has now qualified for the the World Tour Finals for 11 consecutive years. His best result was a runner-up finish in 2010 and 2013 and skipped out on it in 2005, 2008, 2012, and 2014 due to injuries which ended his season prematurely.