Rafael Nadal could also be heading house however he made positive he averted matching his worst ever dropping sequence with a 7-5, 7-5 victory over Norway’s Casper Ruud on the ATP Finals on Thursday.
Again-to-back straight units defeats within the Inexperienced Group by Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger-Aliassime meant the 22-time Grand slam champion missed out on the semifinals.
However the Spaniard was clearly keen to not finish a season that started in such spectacular trend by succumbing to a fifth successive defeat — one thing the 36-year-old had not skilled since earlier than his profession took off in 2004-05.
With world quantity 4 Ruud already assured of a semifinal berth the match was in actuality a useless rubber.
Even so the primary set was filled with depth contained in the Pala Alpitour the place the afternoon crowd have been firmly behind Nadal.
Nadal fought off a few break factors at 4-4 within the opening set as Ruud threatened however after that the Mallorcan discovered the vary on his forehand.
The 23-year-old Ruud went down 0-40 on serve at 5-6 and world quantity two Nadal wanted only one likelihood to seal the set, punching away a volley into an empty courtroom.
It was the same story within the second set with nothing between the gamers till Nadal pounced once more within the twelfth sport.
Ruud saved one match level however Nadal then clubbed away a backhand winner to complete his season on a excessive.
“I’ve been practising properly however simply not had sufficient matches to be on the stage I have to be, not sufficient confidence after six powerful months,” Nadal mentioned on courtroom.
“At the very least I completed with a constructive victory which is essential.”
Ruud will go on to the semifinals however is now 0-8 towards opponents ranked within the prime three.