Rafael Nadal was awarded the trophy for finishing the year as the World number one after his match against Alexander Zverev on Friday evening, November 15. The Spaniard however, was not able to qualify for the semifinals of the ATP World Finals even though he had the same number of wins as Tsitipas and Zverev in the round-robin format. He had fewer game victories in his three matches. Nadal ends the year as the World's best for the fifth time.
In the trophy ceremony, Nadal emphasized how it was an important year for him and thanked his team, family, fans and the sponsors for supporting him and the sport. Nadal had lost the opening match to Zverev, but made an astonishing and remarkable recovery in the second match against Daniil Medvedev, when he went on to beat the Rusian from being a set down and four games down in the decider. The match gave him hope to qualify for the final four going into Friday's match and he made another comeback from being a set down to win the match. However, permutations and combinations lead to him missing out on the spot and yet another exciting 'Fedal' clash.
In the lead up to the year ending the tournament, Nadal withdrew from the Paris Masters after suffering an abdominal tear and had to undergo a surgery. Rafa won the Roland Garros and the US Open this year.
In his speech, he said, "Honestly, what can I say? I am super happy. Honestly, after all the things that I went through in my career in terms of injuries, I never thought at the age of 33 and a half that I will have this trophy in my hands again. So, it’s something really, really emotional for me. A lot of work on the shadows to be where we are today and without all my team and family that is here with me, this thing would be impossible. So I can just say thank you very much, everybody, for the support. Have been some bad moments and you have been always there, so, honestly, like this year for example, after Monte Carlo, after the support of all these people who are here to my left, things will be much different for me this year. They encouraged me to keep going and I can’t thank them enough. Thank you very much."