Rafael Nadal beats defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas

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Rafael Nadal kept alive his hopes of a first ATP Finals title on Thursday, beating defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in London to qualify for the Last Four.

The Spaniard, whose haul of 86 singles titles includes just one on indoor hard courts, is the biggest prize missing from his resume at the eight-man elite event.

Nadal, 34, has qualified for the ATP Finals for a record 16 consecutive years but has been forced to withdraw on six occasions. The second seed won his opening round-robin match against Andrey Rublev but defeat against Dominic Thiem meant he faced a shootout against 2019 champion Tsitsipas to reach the semi-finals.

Nadal sets up a semi-final against Daniil Medvedev as he bids to round off the COVID-19-interrupted season in style. “In general terms a very positive match for me,” said Nadal.

“To be in the semi-finals here at the last tournament of the year is an important thing. Happy for that and looking forward to the semi-finals against Daniil.” He added: “It’s always difficult to play here against the best players of the world every single day, end of the season and most of the time you get here a little bit tired but this year is a little bit different.”

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