The Spaniard has won six titles in 2017 which include two Grand Slams – the French and the US Open – and has recently confirmed his place as the year-end world number one for the fourth time in his career. This season has been Nadal's most successful season since 2013 when he won 10 titles and he is looking to cap it off with a first ATP Finals title having succumbed in the finals on two occasions thus far.
The 31-year-old, however, is aware that he could face long-time rival and pre-tournament favourite Federer in the latter stages of the competition as both of them are in different groups. Their likely meeting is only going to come in the finals, and Nadal is wary about facing the Swiss ace owing to their record this season.
Nadal holds a better overall head-to-head record over Federer but has lost on all four occasions they have faced each other this year. The Spaniard's first loss was in the finals of the Australian Open in January and his most recent defeat was in the finals of the Shanghai Masters in October. In between the two, he lost to the Swiss tennis legend in the fourth round at the Indian Wells Masters and the finals in Miami in March.
The 16-time men's singles Grand Slam champion is keen to win his first season-ending tournament but admitted that it would be hard if he again comes up against the 19-time major champion. However, Nadal is hoping that he would be able to turn the tables at the fifth time of asking.
"My dream is to win the tournament, and if I play Roger in the final then my chances are less than playing another player. But I would love to play in the final and if I play Roger then I will try my best to beat him," Nadal told Sky Sports ahead of the ATP Finals on Thursday (9 November).
"It's true that I play Roger every time this year on the surfaces that are better for him, but I will just fight to win my first match of the year against him," the Spaniard added.