ATP Finals: No extra motivation needed for Nadal as Djokovic eyes 'perfect ending'

Rafael Nadal does not need extra motivation to win the ATP Finals for the first time in his legendary career, while Novak Djokovic is looking for a "perfect ending" to 2022 in Turin.

Spanish great Nadal has won 22 singles grand slam titles, a record in the men's game, but has surprisingly never been crowned champion at the season-ending event.

Nadal made a personal-best start to 2022, winning 20 straight matches and lifting the Australian Open title.

However, he has only played once since the US Open due to becoming a father for the first time and recuperating from injuries.

Still, at the age of 36, Nadal is grateful to still be getting a crack at finally ticking off the ATP Finals on his impressive list of accomplishments.

"I try my best in every single event. That's true. Doesn't matter if I won it [in the past] or not," Nadal, a two-time runner-up, said at an ATP media day prior to the tournament in Turin.

"When I enter a tennis tournament, I want to win and I'm going to try my best to achieve that goal. Here I was not able to make it, I was not good enough to make it in the past.

"So I just accept that and I'm happy to give myself another chance at the age of 36 — something, for me, that was difficult to imagine years ago.

"Of course it's going to be a challenge, but I hope I will be ready to give myself a chance. That's what I am looking for, just practising as good as possible with the right attitude and just trying to be ready for the action that's going to start on Sunday."

ATP Finals winners
ATP Finals winners

Djokovic's season has been a complicated one. Absent from the Australian and US Opens due to not being vaccinated against COVID-19, the Serbian great did triumph at Wimbledon, but there were no ranking points on offer at SW19.

He has slipped to eighth in the rankings as a result but does have four titles to his name in 2022 and Djokovic is eyeing a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals title and first since 2015.

"It would be a perfect ending," Djokovic said." The cherry on the cake, for sure, but it's a long way. It's a long week.

"You've got to play the best players in the world. You have to play more or less everyone in this tournament at least once, so I look forward to it.

"I've had experience in this tournament, in this format, many times and hopefully that can serve me in a good way."