Rafael Nadal recently said that he wants Roger Federer to beat Novak Djokovic in their ATP Finals match on Thursday. It is because Nadal wants to finish the year as World Number One.
On Wednesday night, Nadal defeated Daniil Medvedev 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) in the group stage of the event. He fought back from being 1-5 down and eventually saved a match point during the third set. His win would certainly give a massive boost to his hopes of finishing as year-end World Number 1.
Yesterdays' stunning fightback by Nadal means he is currently 640 points ahead of Djokovic in the race to finish the year as the World No. 1. Tonight, Djokovic plays Federer at the O2 Arena. The Serbian knows that he must win to stay in the race to finish the year as the top-ranked player.
If Djokovic wants to create the best opportunity for himself to surpass Nadal in the rankings, he must win the ATP Finals tournament. In comparison, Nadal will still be No 1 and finish the year on top, even if he reaches the final and loses it.
After completing a stunning win against Medvedev, reporters asked Nadal about his prefered result in the match between Federer and Djokovic. Nadal replied, "What I hope is obvious and it is logical what suits me. [But] I try to make my way. It is true that what happened yesterday is positive, there is no need to be a hypocrite. I depend on me to finish number one. Nor can it be doing calculations all day."
Nadal also revealed what he felt when he was trailing 1-5 and being on the verge of getting eliminated from the tournament. He said that at that moment, he was feeling that within five minutes the match will end in Medvedev's favour. The Spaniard also explained that at such a moment, there was less pressure on him as he seemed almost lost.
Then, Nadal played amazingly and secured a point. However, still, he thought that 2-5 isn't the kind of scorecard that can give him a glimpse of making a stunning comeback against the Russian. In an interview published by Express, Nadal said that making such a comeback against Medvedev is difficult, especially when playing indoors.
However, Nadal started believing that he can win with the scorecard reading 5-3. From that moment onwards, the Spaniard started creating pressure on Medvedev, both physically and mentally. The comeback puts Nadal in a good position to advance to the next round. The pressure is now on Djokovic to catch up.