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ATP Finals: Nadal excited over ‘new experience’

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TENNIS giant, Rafael Nadal has vowed to give everything he has in his bid to win the ATP Tour Finals for the first time in his career.

  Nadal, who has won a record 22 Grand Slam titles, has begun practising at The Pala Alpitour Arena in Turin which is where the season-ending championships will be held. On Wednesday, the Spaniard conducted a hitting session with Taylor Fritz who he has already beaten twice this season in Mexico and at Wimbledon. Although he did lose their encounter in Indian Wells.

  The 36-year-old was accompanied on court by his coaching team consisting of Marc Lopez, Francisco Roig and Carlos Moya. Nadal will be eager to gain some momentum in his tennis after suffering an early exit at last week’s Paris Masters where he fell in three sets to Tommy Paul.

  “It’s always great news to be playing the last event of the year,” Nadal told atptour.com.

“That says that you had a great season, so I’m excited.

  “Italy is a very close country for me. Being in Turin for the first time in my life, it’s a new experience, so I’m very happy for that and I’m looking forward to seeing the stadium and the fans. I’ll try my best as always.”

  The ATP Finals has been an Achilles heel for Nadal throughout his career. Despite his various success in the sport, he is yet to triumph at the tournament where he will be making his 11th appearance this year. He has won 20 out of 36 matches played at the event, which features the eight highest-ranking players at the end of each season. His best performances were finishing runner-up in 2010 and 2013.

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  Nadal will be the top seed at this year’s tournament following the withdrawal of Carlos Alcaraz due to an abdominal injury. He has a shot of clinching the year-end No.1 position but to do so he must fulfil one of two scenarios, according to the ATP.   He must either win the title or reach the final and hope that Stefanos Tsitsipas doesn’t end his run undefeated.

  The ATP Finals will begin on Sunday with the group stage. The top two players from each group will then progress to the semi-finals later in the week.

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