Rafael Nadal kept his chance for the title at the end of the season of the tennis tour. The 13-time French Open champion reached the semi-finals at the ATP Finals in London with a 6: 4, 4: 6, 6: 2 win over defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas. For Tsitsipas, a representative of the younger generation, the season is over after the defeat.
Nadal could not win the finals, which will be held in Turin from next season, in his career. Against Tsitsipas he was initially the clearly better player, gave up the second set with a double fault and benefited from the Greek’s staggering serve in the third set. In the semifinals, Nadal meets Daniil Medvedev.
Dominic Thiem had previously suffered his first defeat. In the third preliminary round, the Austrian lost to Russian Andrej Rublew after a largely weak performance 2: 6, 5: 7. Even before the match he was the winner of his group, Rublew had already been eliminated.
In the other group, Alexander Zverev has to defeat world number one Novak Djokovic in the afternoon (3 p.m.) to stay in the tournament. The winner will meet Thiem in the semifinals.
What’s next in Grand Slam tournaments?
In London, the players discuss the future of their sport. Djokovic had spoken out in favor of reforming the Grand Slam tournaments in order to appeal to a younger audience. The length of the matches is the problem with the four majors in Melbourne, Paris, Wimbledon and New York – five-set matches over many hours are no longer up to date, according to Djokovic. This could also reduce the burden on the players.
Nadal sees it differently. “I am against doing anything about it,” said the Spaniard on the sidelines of the tournament. “Best-of-five is the specialty of the Grand Slam tournaments and at the same time part of the history of our sport.” In the short term, no changes are to be expected on this issue. However, since this season there have been various attempts to expand the target group with faster games and new formats. The average tennis spectator is 60 years old.