Rafael Nadal’s hopes of a maiden ATP Finals title and becoming World No.1 again took another blow on Tuesday as the Spaniard lost 3-6, 4-6 to Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime in his second group stage match in Turin.
The 35-year-old Nadal had earlier suffered a 6-7 (3), 1-6 defeat against American Taylor Fritz on Sunday.
Twenty-two-time Grand Slam winner Nadal lies at the bottom of the group with Fritz, Auger-Aliassime and Casper Ruud, the fourth player in the group, all three having scored a win.
Nadal, however, could still make it to the semifinals if all of the below conditions are met:-
- ⦿ Fritz beats Ruud and Auger-Aliassime in straight sets
- ⦿ Nadal beats Ruud in straight sets.
- ⦿ In case the first two conditions are met, Nadal, Ruud and Auger-Aliassime will have won one match each. In such case, the percentage of sets won is taken into account which again will be the same for all three. The tie is then broken with the player with the highest percentage of games won. If that too turns out to be the same for all three, then the player with the highest ranking on the Monday after the last ATP Tour event (Paris Masters) of the calendar goes through which in this case will be Nadal who is World No. 2. Ruud is World No. 4 and Auger-Aliassime is World No. 6.
If Ruud manages to win a set against Fritz in the night session on Tuesday, Nadal will be knocked out of the event.
It will also confirm Carlos Alcaraz as the youngest-ever year-end World No 1 since Nadal needed to at least make it to the summit clash to go past the Spanish teenager.