Rafa makes no excuses for rough start at ATP Finals

Sports | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 13 Nov 2019

Rafael Nadal refused to make excuses after being outplayed by defending champion Alexander Zverev at the ATP Finals as Stefanos Tsitsipas got off to a flying start.

The Spanish top seed came into the tournament under an injury cloud and was well short of his best, losing 6-2, 6-4.

In the earlier round-robin match in Group Andre Agassi, sixth seed Tsitsipas beat Daniil Medvedev 7-6 (7/5), 6-4.

Nadal is locked in a battle with Novak Djokovic to finish as the year-end No 1 but was not serving flat out in practice last week due to an abdominal strain that forced him out of the Paris Masters.

The 33-year-old led Germany's Zverev 5-0 in head-to-head contests coming into the match but was uncharacteristically sloppy in the first set, conceding two breaks of serve. Seventh seed Zverev, 22, broke in the first game of the second set to take an iron grip on the match.

"The physical issue was not an excuse at all," said Nadal. "I was not good enough tonight."

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