Rafael Nadal has come to London to stay … with the title. The Balearic tennis player does not hide what his main goal is at this end of the season and he has thoroughly prepared to achieve it. His debut in the Masters Cup endorsed his set-up, and he did so with a brilliant victory (6-3, 6-4) against Andrey Rublev to command the London 2020 group, together with Dominic Thiem. Rafa gave no option to a rival who paid the hazing of the debut in these instances and he found a wall that did not give him any option to win.
After the failed assault on the Masters 1000 in Paris-Bercy, Nadal appeared in London ready to compete for the only great title that remains in his record, the Masters Cup. The Manacorense is aware that this is the year in which he has more options to go far thanks to his physical freshness and tennis, which did not accompany him in the French capital two weeks ago, had to be perfected for a perfect adaptation to the hard court indoor at the O2 Arena.
Rafa jumped onto the court convinced, but with the alerts on before one of the best tennis players of the year. Rublev has won up to five tournaments in 2020 and his game, electric and sometimes improvised, could disturb the accumulation of tennis routines of the number two in the world. However, Nadal also had prepared a series of surprises that were to be seen from the beginning.
The first, which was already seen in Paris-Bercy, was a superior investment in the game to the service, capital in this type of surfaces. Rafa found first with a very high percentage, so that Rublev could not even cough at him from the return. Nadal was accumulating service games and took advantage of a specific disconnection from Andrey, failed with his first, to get the break that the first round was going to give him.
In the rest, much more advanced, Nadal drew this step forward in a tangible way towards the offensive in London. At the first, in the second set, the Spanish tennis player took advantage of his rival’s pájara, stunned like a cyclist on his first climb to the Tourmalet, to gain an advantage in a set that was aimed to be the decisive one.
Nadal did not want rhythm, in a version completely opposite to what we are used to but just as effective as this one. The meeting did not give time to stop and think, and that made Rublev the defeated one, once the crash got uphill. This is how the games followed one another, some of them supersonic, until the match reached the balcony of the final decision, ahead of schedule and there, without hesitation Rafa and without competing with the rest Andrey, he tied the tie to the triumphant premiere of number two in his assault on the Masters Cup.