With 91 career ATP titles under his belt, Rafael Nadal is among the most consistent performers the sport of tennis has ever seen. The Spaniard is the only player to have won a Grand Slam more than 10 times, winning the French Open an incredible 13 times till date.
The21-time Grand Slam champion has also won the Monte-Carlo Masters 11 times and the Barcelona Open 12 times. All of those achievements together make him the only player to have won three separate tournaments on at least 11 occasions each.
Although the World No. 3 has won all four Grand Slams, there have been a few tournaments where he hasn’t been able to stamp his authority with similar disdain. In fact, the Mallorcan has failed to triumph in some of the most prestigious events on the tennis calendar despite his repeated attempts to win those titles.
Withoutfurther ado, here are the five biggest tournaments the former World No. 1 has never managed to win till date:
1. Swiss Indoors
The Swiss Indoors is one of the very few ATP 500 events Rafael Nadal is yet to win. Despite making four appearances in Basel, the 35-year-old’s best result has been finishing as the runner-up, which he achieved in the 2015 edition.Seeded third in the event that year, the Spaniard defeated seventh seed Marin Cilic and fifth seed Richard Gasquet back-to-back on his way to the final. However, he fell against top seed Roger Federer in the summit clash in a tight three-setter.
In 2014, the Mallorcan exited in the quarterfinals following a defeat against Borna Coric. In both the 2003 and 2004 editions, when the event was played on carpet, the former World No. 1 lost out in the very first round.
2. Paris Masters.
The Paris Masters has seen Rafael Nadal reach the final only once in eight attempts, during his very first appearance in the 2007 edition. After defeating Stan Wawrinka, Mikhail Youzhny and Marcos Baghdatis, the former World No. 1 fell at the final hurdle to David Nalbandian in straight sets that year.
In seven attempts since then, the World No. 3 has reached the semifinals on four occasions in 2009, 2013, 2019 and 2020. He also managed to enter the quarterfinals thrice in 2008, 2015 and 2017 but the title has proven to be elusive time and time again.
InRafael Nadal’s defense, though, the Paris Masters has been a tough stage for even the very best of players. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is the only player in the tournament’s history to successfully defend his title.
3. Shanghai Masters
Rafael Nadal has never won the Shanghai Masters since its inception in 2009 despite reaching the final twice.
Since the Shanghai Masters’ inception in 2009, Rafael Nadal has never won a title at the ATP 1000 event. The 35-year-old has reached the final twice: in the very first edition and then again in 2017.
While he fell in the former to Nikolay Davydenko in three sets, it was Roger Federer who dwarfed him 6-4, 6-3 in the latter.The Spaniard has also reached the semifinals on two occasions in 2013 and 2015, losing against Juan Martin del Potro and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga respectively.
It should be noted that the Madrid Masters, which was held on indoor hardcourts until 2008, is taken into consideration for the seasons that came before 2009. The 21-time Grand Slam champion won at Madrid during this time, triumphing in the 2005 edition.
He vanquished Ivan Ljubicic in a close, five-set final after being two sets down.Consequently, the Shanghai Masters is marked as complete in his official record. But from the time the tournament began being held in China as the Shanghai Masters as it is known today, the Spaniard has not triumphed till date.
4. Miami Masters
The Miami Masters was the first Masters 1000 event Rafael Nadal came close to winning, but the years since have not been kind to the 35-year-old. The Spaniard reached the final of the 2005 edition and won the first two sets against Roger Federer but ended up losing the encounter in a five-set marathon.
TheMallorcan has made 11 appearances at the tournament since then, reaching four more finals, but none of his attempts have borne fruit. In 2008, he fell against Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets. Novak Djokovic then disposed off the World No. 3 in 2011 and 2014.In 2017, it was once again Roger Federer who put an end to the former World No. 1’s dreams. The Swiss picked up a comfortable 6-3, 6-4 victory over Rafael Nadal in the summit clash.
The 21-time Grand Slam champion also reached two more semifinals in 2010 and 2012. While he had to withdraw against former World No. 1 Andy Murray in the latter, he lost to American Andy Roddick in the 2010 edition.
5. ATP Tour Finals
The Year-end Championships is arguably the biggest tournament Rafael Nadal has underperfomed at. The Spaniard has reached the finals twice and the semifinals on four occasions in the event, but the all-important final triumph has continually proven elusive.In 2010, he lost to Roger Federer in the summit clash, while he was outdone by Novak Djokovic in 2013.
Federer also outclassed the Mallorcan in the semifinals in 2006 and 2007. Nadal’s semifinal loss in 2015 came against Djokovic, while the 2020 loss came unexpectedly against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev.
Rafael Nadal didn’t even make it out of the round robin stage in four years: 2009, 2011, 2017 and 2019. Consequently, his overall win/loss record in the event stands at a poor 20-16 with a win percentage of just 55.56%.