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Rafael Nadal • I’m Going To Play In London • The 02 Arena For The ATP Nitto Finals • Buy Tickets

Rafael Nadal of Spain in action during his round of 16 match against Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas at the Rolex Paris Masters tennis tournament in Paris, France, 02 November 2017. EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON

 

 

Rafael Nadal turned media day at the ATP World Tour Finals into a declaration of intent.

 

The world No. 1, who limped out of Paris with knee tendinitis, says he is committed to competing at the ATP World Tour Finals in London.

 

“If I didn’t believe I could be ready for Monday I wouldn’t be here,” Nadal told the media at the O2 Arena. “I don’t have to make a decision. I’m going to play. That’s my feeling today.

 

“I had problems in Paris a few weeks ago. I go day by day, how I’m feeling. I can’t predict what will happen, but my feeling is now I’m going to play and try my best.”

 

The 31-year-old Spaniard played with taping beneath his right knee during his Rolex Paris Masters victory over Pablo Cuevas. Nadal won that match in three sets, but conceded a walkover to Serbian qualifier Filip Krajinovic in the quarterfinals.

 

Nadal will face David Goffin in his opening round-robin match on Monday night in what will be their first career meeting on hard courts.

 

The man from Mallorca ended a three-year, hard-court title drought winning his 16th Grand Slam title at the US Open in September.

 

He’ll try to snap another streak in London.

 

The 10-time Roland Garros champion has yet to win the season-ending event.

 

Indoor tennis is the Spaniard’s most challenging environment. His .688 winning percentage is significantly below his career winning percentages on clay (.917), grass (.772) and hard court (.771) in part because elite opponents can exploit his deeper return position and because its more difficult for Nadal to extend points indoors.

 

Nadal has posted a 16-12 career record at the World Tour Finals and was twice runner-up bowing to Novak Djokovic in the 2013 final after falling to Roger Federer in the 2010 London title match.

 

“It’s always in my mind, during 13 years that I’m qualified,” Nadal told the media in London. “Being here is an important thing, but for me the most important thing is the only thing that happened to me this year. Winning tournaments, competing every week, being healthy until Paris.”

 

Nadal owns a combined 17-3 record against competitors in the Pete Sampras Group of the season-ending tournament.

 

The 16-time Grand Slam champion is 10-1 vs. Grigor Dimitrov, including a five-set Australian Open semifinal triumph in January and a pair of three-set wins in Beijing and Shanghai.

 

The US Open champion has not dropped a set to Goffin in their two meetings, both contested on clay. Nadal has won five of seven meetings vs. Dominic Thiem with all seven matches staged on red clay.

 

Regardless of his results in London, Nadal will walk away a big winner. He’s already clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking for the fourth time.

 

“I’m number one here, great,” Nadal said. “It’s a very important achievement, especially at my age. It’s something important for me, but that’s all. It’s going to be a nice moment when I receive the Sunday award, a year ago it was never in my mind to achieve that.”

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