Rafael Nadal says he is “excited” about what’s in store at the Nitto ATP Finals as he hit the practice court for the first time.
Nadal, 36, has played the season-ending ATP Finals 10 times but has never lifted the trophy.
His best runs came when he made the final in both 2010 and 2013, losing to Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic respectively.
Nadal’s preparation for this year’s ATP Finals looks far from ideal.
His only match since losing in the fourth round of the US Open was a three-set defeat to Tommy Paul at last week’s Paris Masters, after which he said it was “difficult to imagine” he could challenge in Turin.
However, Nadal is looking forward to getting going at the event and has been practising with Taylor Fritz, who secured a spot after Carlos Alcaraz’s injury withdrawal.
“It’s always great news to be playing the last event of the year,” Nadal told the ATP.
“That says that you had a great season, so I’m excited.
“Italy is a very close country for me. Being in Turin for the first time in my life, it’s a new experience, so I’m very happy for that and I’m looking forward to seeing the stadium and the fans. I’ll try my best as always.”
Nadal was joined on court by his coaching staff, including Carlos Moya, Francisco Roig and Marc Lopez.
The 21-time Grand Slam champion has faced Fritz twice competitively this year.
Fritz ended Nadal’s winning start to the year in the Indian Wells final before losing in five sets in the Wimbledon quarter-finals, failing to capitalise on Nadal’s injury issues.
Fritz will be competing at the ATP Finals for the first time.