ATP Tour Finals: Nadal v Wawrinka as it happened

Rafael Nadal beats Stanislas Wawrinka in straight sets to qualify for the World Tour Finals semi-finals in London.

6 November 2013 Last updated at 17:00 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 1650: 

    That's it for this session, but we've still got more tennis to come. David Ferrer will return for the second successive day to take on Tomas Berdych.

    The Spaniard has beaten world number five Berdych seven times in 10 meetings, the last of which came five days ago in the quarter-finals at the Paris Masters. I'm off for a break, but will be back at 1955 GMT to take you the sixth singles' match of the ATP Tour Finals. Catch you later.

  2. 1645: 

    Federer isn't in action today - he'll be back on court to face Richard Gasquet tomorrow in the afternoon session - but he is at the O2 to pick up not one, not two but three awards.

    The first is the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship award followed by the Fans' Favourite award - which he wins for the 11th straight year - and the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian award. We're informed that it is his 27th award since 2003. Crikey, he must have a lot of cabinets - and a lot of dusting to do.

    Tim Henman, Former British number one on BBC Two
    Rafael Nadal

    "So many times when you watch Rafa you think he can't possibly win this point because he's so far behind the baseline or out wide, but then he comes up with these incredible shots. The physical skills to keep on fighting and his fortitude are amazing. He deserves to end the year as world number one. He's a great champion."


    Fawad Khan: Nadal's mind is made out of titanium. Any other player would've crumbled against this Wawrinka barrage.

    Sue Q: Shame it didn't go to a third. Great match! Two tie breaks. Hard luck Stan. Congratulations to Rafa, the World Number One!

    Jemma G: Wow, what a match!! Congrats to @RafaelNadal world number 1 at year end, what a year.

  5. 1640: 

    It was the unforced errors which really did for Warwrinka, who has now not won a single set (0-26) against Nadal in 12 attempts. The Swiss made 45 of them, compared to Nadal's 23. He came out on top in terms of winners, with 30 compared to Nadal's 14, but he took just two of his seven break point opportunities in a match which lasted a monster two hours and 12 minutes.


    Rafael Nadal on BBC Two: "A lot of emotions today, it's the perfect scenario to finally be the year-end number one. The match was really hard, Stan played really great.

    "He had chances at the end, I was a bit lucky but I'm happy to be through to the semi-finals in the last tournament of the year. After missing this tournament last year, it's been an unbelievable comeback year.

    "Being number one at end of the season is something really difficult as there are some unbelievable competitors out there. But without my team behind me, it would be hard to think about achieving this, especially after what happened last year.

    "Stan is a player who is having the best season of his career, he's playing great. To win against him is a big challenge, so I'm happy with the result."

    GAME, SET AND MATCH- Nadal 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (8-6) Wawrinka

    Wawrinka gives himself a mountain to climb as he goes 3-0 down after losing both points on his own serve. He conjures up a magical backhand down the line which lands plump in the corner to pull one back but it's Nadal who moves into a 4-2 lead at the change of ends.

    Back comes Wawrinka, getting a bit of luck as Nadal fails to challenge a first serve which is called in but is in fact out and then hammers forehand winner to reclaim the mini-break. It's a fourth point in a row for the Swiss as Nadal goes long, but with a chance to bring up two set points, Wawrinka pulls a forehand wide. He makes no mistake on the next to bring up his first set point, but Nadal saves it with a textbook smash to make it 6-6 ahead of another change of ends.

    From set point down to match point for Nadal and he only needs the one as Wawrinka dumps a backhand into the net. Nadal leaps into the air to celebrate. The win means a lot, but what it signifies is perhaps more important. He ends the year as world number one after returning from injury in February. Phenomenal.

    TIE-BREAK- *Nadal 7-6 (7-5) 6-6 Wawrinka
    Rafael Nadal

    What. A. Rally. It's gutsy from Wawrinka who launches attack after attack after attack and finally breaks down Nadal's defence to win a stunning 28-shot rally. The Swiss then takes the next point to hold serve and force a tie-break as he cross the two-hour barrier. Will he have better luck in this one?

    David Felgate, Tim Henman's former coach on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Since Wawrinka broke back the quality has gone up. They are both playing a lot more aggressively and hitting the ball more cleanly."

    Listen to commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

    Nadal 7-6 (7-5) 6-5 Wawrinka*

    Wawrinka hits a 95mph backhand winner off Nadal's forehand to keep himself in the game, but it only delays the inevitable as the Spaniard wins the next point to move to within one game of victory - and the semi-finals. Out comes the fist pump. He knows his work is almost done.


    Andrew Neill: Re: Ed Aspen. Clearly just a very, very small fridge....

    *Nadal 7-6 (7-5) 5-5 Wawrinka

    A couple of Nadal errors bring up two game points for Wawrinka and he takes the first one, smashes a flat forehand, after being dragged six feet out of court, round the net and in to seal the game.

    Andrew Castle, Former British number one and BBC TV commentator

    "There's a shot you don't see at your local courts too often. A back-to-the-net round-arm flip. And Nadal lost the point."

    Nadal 7-6 (7-5) 5-4 Wawrinka*
    Rafael Nadal

    Nadal runs to the back of the court and leaps up to reach a lob, swatting it back with his back to the net - and it goes in! But Wawrinka picks it up and goes on to win the point. Sensational stuff. That seems to have woken up the crowd who appeared to have drifted off for an afternoon snooze. The Spaniard regroups, and rattles off the next three points to stop the rot.

    *Nadal 7-6 (7-5) 4-4 Wawrinka

    Buoyed by his success against the Nadal serve in the last game, Wawrinka races to a 40-0 lead on his serve. A bold forehand down the line floats just long but he races to the next in the next point, picking off the easy forehand volley to close out the game.

    David Felgate, Tim Henman's former coach on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "How many times has Wawrinka set up an opening but missed it wide? That seems to be the story of the match, but he regained his composure, got a little bit lucky and the set is back on serve. Great credit to Stan for hanging in there when we thought Nadal might run away with it."

    Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

    WAWRINKA BREAKS - Nadal 7-6 (7-5) 4-3 Wawrinka*

    Great block return from Wawrinka but he sends another wild forehand way out of court. How many times has he done that in this match? Nadal recovers to 15-15, before Wawrinka manages to keep it inside the lines for a change to carve out a mini opening and then he ruthlessly attack the Nadal forehand to bring up two break points. The Swiss stays on the attack, even moving to the net to pick off a forehand volley that luckily clips the net but deservedly drops in. The break is his and we're back on serve.

    *Nadal 7-6 (7-5) 4-2 Wawrinka

    Nadal may have a cushion over Wawrinka in this second set, but that doesn't stop him having a go at himself for a series of poor returns which result in the Swiss holding out to love.

    Nadal 7-6 (7-5) 4-1 Wawrinka*
    Rafael Nadal

    Nadal makes an error of judgement by failing to challenge a ball which is out. As a result, there's a glimmer of hope for Wawrinka as he rustles up a break point. Nadal fends it off to bring up deuce and then seals the game following two more errors from Wawrinka. The Swiss swats the air in frustration - he looks like he's run out of ideas.


    Ed Aspen: Wawrinka moves like he's carrying a fridge on his back.

    NADAL BREAKS - *Nadal 7-6 (7-5) 3-1 Wawrinka

    The wheels are coming off here for Wawrinka, as the Swiss finds himself three break points down. He saves the first, but another wild forehand sails long and Nadal edges ever closer to being confirmed as the year-end number one.

    Tim Henman, Former British number one on BBC Two

    "It is a balance for Wawrinka on these break points. You have to make it happen, commit to it and really go for it because you won't get anything from Nadal in these situations."

    Nadal 7-6 (7-5) 2-1 Wawrinka*

    Sensational anticipation from Wawrinka who races to the net to await a cross-court drop and then sends it straight back. Nadal makes contact with the ball, but dumps it in the net and the Swiss has two break points. Both go wanting and Nadal seizes the opportunity to come forward and attack a loose ball to gain advantage. A booming serve seals the game.

    *Nadal 7-6 (7-5) 1-1 Wawrinka
    Stanislas Wawrinka

    Wawrinka complains to the umpire about Rafael Nadal's Uncle Toni talking too much. The umpire gives it short shrift so Wawrinka takes his frustration out on the ball, whizzing through his service to level things up in this set.

    Nadal 7-6 (7-5) 1-0 Wawrinka*

    Wawrinka's wait to win a set against Nadal goes on. He's now 0-25. It's a pretty turgid game to start off the second set, a host of errors spraying off both players' racquets to bring up deuce. A lazy backhand volley and a forehand error from Wawrinka gift Nadal the game.

    David Felgate, Tim Henman's former coach on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Wawrinka slipped, tripped, and then smashed his racquet. Understandably he lost his temper but he has to get his mind back pretty quickly. It was not the best set of tennis either has played but it's another set to Nadal against Wawrinka."

    Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    GAME AND FIRST SET- *Nadal 7-6 (7-5) Wawrinka

    Nadal secures the first mini-break to go 2-0 up, but Wawrinka is gifted one of his own when Nadal sends a forehand wide. The next few points go on serve and we're at 3-3 at the change of ends.

    The Spaniard gets cross with himself when he fires over a loose forehand which sits up and asks to be hit. Wawrinka duly obliges and takes a 5-4 lead. Sensational defence from Nadal, reaching out for a forehand that drops plump on the line. How does he do it?

    Wawrinka then stumbles as he goes for a regulation volley and Nadal swats it off for a winner to take the tie-break. Wawrinka smashes his racquet and then throws it across the court. He knows he should have made that volley.

    TIE-BREAK- Nadal 6-6 Wawrinka*

    Wawrinka starts the game perfectly to go 0-15 on the Nadal serve, but he follows it up with four poor points and we're heading for a tie-break. Bad news for the Swiss is that he's never won one against Nadal.

    Tim Henman, Former British number one on BBC Two

    "Wawrinka did such a great job to break back and level the match and it was important he got his serve right."

    *Nadal 5-6 Wawrinka

    What a game for Wawrinka, the Swiss rattling through his service game to love and closing it off with a spectacular lunging volley. Now that's the way to hold your serve and consolidate the break back. How will Nadal cope with the pressure of serving to stay in the set?

    WAWRINKA BREAKS - Nadal 5-5 Wawrinka*
    Stanislas Wawrinka

    "Come on," shouts Wawrinka as he steals an early advantage, but back comes Nadal and we're at 30-30. Another "come on" from Wawrinka as he sends a fizzing backhand cross-court and this time Nadal can only frame it out of court. A break point opportunity for the Swiss and this time he takes it, the Swiss launching a forehand cross-court to wrong foot Nadal. We're back on serve, folks.

    *Nadal 5-4 Wawrinka

    Wawrinka fires down a 136mph serve to close out his service game to 15 and task Nadal with having to serve for the first set.

    Nadal 5-3 Wawrinka*

    Well look what we have here, 0-30 on the Nadal serve for Wawrinka after two uncharacteristic errors from the Spaniard. The Swiss misses a golden opportunity to bring up three break points when he snatches at a backhand it goes into the tram lines. "Yes!" shouts Wawrinka after the Swiss after finally conjures up his first break point of the match, but it goes wanting as a backhand hits the top of the net and bounces out. Wawrinka has another attempt after a brilliant forehand winner when on the run - but he over-hits a return off a second serve and we're back at deuce. This time Nadal closes off the danger to seal the game. Pressure back on Wawrinka.

    *Nadal 4-3 Wawrinka

    Wawrinka isn't making this easy for himself. Once again, he finds himself 0-30 down on his serve. This time his serve - and a solid backhand volley - come to his rescue and we're at 30-30. But Nadal just won't let up. The Spaniard deflects everything Wawrinka throws at him, and eventually the Swiss' attack breaks down, sending a backhand volley long to bring up another break point for Nadal. Wawrinka fights back to deuce and a super stun drop volley followed by a booming serve rescues the game. Crucial hold that for the Swiss.

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    Nyla: Wawrinka has had an extra days rest. This might matter if he were playing anyone but Rafa. Rafa seems to be able to run forever.

    Clive Mason: Nadal's secret weapon: camouflage!

    David Felgate, Tim Henman's former coach on Radio 5 live sports extra

    "The wheels are coming off quite rapidly. Plenty of unforced errors from Wawrinka."

    Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

    Nadal 4-2 Wawrinka*
    Rafael Nadal

    "You are kidding me," says Andrew Castle. "That's a proper piece of court speed from Nadal." Wawrinka plays a delicate cross-court drop which lands slightly behind Nadal, but the Spaniard gets to it, and pings it back the same way. The Swiss wasn't expecting him to get it back and can only watch on as the ball slides clear for a winner. Nadal coasts through the rest of the game to consolidate the break.

    NADAL BREAKS - *Nadal 3-2 Wawrinka

    Wawrinka in a spot of bother at 0-30 down and though a luscious single-handed backhand sets up a smash that he puts away confidently, he frames the next regulation forehand to bring up the first couple of break points of the match. He saves the first with a booming serve, but then gives it away with a double-fault. A collective groan from the crowd sweeps around the stadium.

    Nadal 2-2 Wawrinka*

    Wawrinka goes on the attack, launching a series of punishing forehands to either corner but Nadal scrambles from side to side, retrieving everything that the Swiss challenges with him before unleashing a touch of class with a beautiful cross-court passing short when still under the cosh. The Spaniard feeds off that point and races through the rest of the game to level things up again.

    *Nadal 1-2 Wawrinka

    A smidgen of pressure for Wawrinka as he loses his first point on his serve in the match to go 0-15 down, but he regroups and hangs in there as Nadal fires an array of heavy topspin forehands at him to seal a good hold to 15.

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    Sean Done: Great mental toughness to keep coming out and trying your best against Nadal when you are 24-0 in sets, let alone winning a match.

    Nadal 1-1 Wawrinka*

    Nadal's serve isn't firing all that well in contrast, but his second serve looks pretty decent and a loose forehand from Wawrinka ends up in the net to hand Nadal the game to 15.

    *Nadal 0-1 Wawrinka

    Wawrinka makes a sensational start, the Swiss' serve working beautifully as is his silky single-handed backhand, and he wins the opener to love. That'll certainly calm the nerves.

    David Felgate, Tim Henman's former coach on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Wawrinka needs to get off to quick start. He can't afford to fall behind. He has to impose his game early and go after the ball hard. Tactically, you have to go to the forehand to open up the backhand but Nadal is so strong off both hands. But I wouldn't be surprised to see Wawrinka do something here today."

    Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

  45. 1416: 

    Wawrinka scores the mini-break, if you like, by winning the toss and choosing to serve. The warm-up is over, the final stretches complete. Let's do this.

  46. 1414: 

    So does Stanislas Wawrinka have a shot at beating Rafael Nadal for the first time in 11 attempts? Can anyone stop Nadal winning the season finale for the first time in his career? Tweet us with your tennis chat using the #bbctennis hashtag or fire over a text on 81111. You can also comment on our Facebook page and check out behind-the-scenes photos on Instagram.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at the 02 in London

    It was approaching midnight when Novak Djokovic faced the media at the O2 Arena last night following his win over Roger Federer, but the Serb was in no rush to get back to the hotel. Asked about Viktor Troicki's 12-month ban for failing to give a blood sample in April, Djokovic spoke passionately about his friend and his fears over the anti-doping system. 'I don't have trust in what's going on,' said the world number two. 'I don't know if they're going to misplace the test that I have or anything worse than that. Viktor is there by himself. Tomorrow it can be anybody else.'"

    David Felgate, Tim Henman's former coach on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Nadal is favourite for this match and the title. I think he has a point to prove because he's never won it. There's nothing better than to watch Wawrinka's single-handed backhand. He has started this tournament with a win and is looking confident."

    Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

  49. 1411: 

    But back to the match in hand. Nadal holds a commanding 11-0 head-to-head record against Wawrinka, who has never won a set (0-24) in their previous meetings. However, Wawrinka is the midst of his best season on the tour, winning his career-best 50th match of the season with a three-set victory over world number five Tomas Berdych on Monday. Hope, then, that the Swiss might be able to make a match out of this...

  50. 1408: 

    I mentioned Nadal's comfortable opening victory over Ferrer yesterday. Well the other match was more of a contest with Federer pushing Djokovic to three sets. It was by no means a classic, with errors spraying off both racquets, but it was a brutal and thrilling encounter nonetheless.

    "It was impressive that Federer continuously raising himself and raising himself in this match," says Andrew Castle. "But then he took his foot off the gas in the third set and it go away from him. It will be fascinating to see where he goes from here because in my opinion he's not as good as Djokovic any more."

    Andrew Castle, Former British number one and BBC Sport expert

    "Rafael Nadal has never won this event and it's the only blemish on an otherwise perfect record."

  52. 1405: 

    Massive roar for Rafael Nadal as he strolls out on court - not quite a Roger Federer roar, but an impressive welcome nonetheless. The Spaniard heads over to his chair, bops around on the spot a few times and then meticulously places his water bottles in position.

  53. 1402: 
    Stanislas Wawrinka walks on to the court

    "Boom-boom, boom-boom, boom-boom," it's time to welcome the players onto court. Stanislas Wawrinka is the first man out and about. Let's not forget this is only the second time he's made this grand entrance onto court as it's his debut appearance in a ATP World Tour Finals.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at the 02 in London

    "You know it's the first week in November when the world's tennis media begin testing their generally rusty mathematics - it's qualification scenarios time at the ATP World Tour Finals. Keeping it simple, Nadal will qualify for the semi-finals with a straight-sets win, or with any win if Ferrer then beats Berdych tonight. Wawrinka will qualify if he beats Nadal and Berdych takes down Ferrer. Got it? Let's hope it's not a draw."

  55. 1400: 

    Afternoon! Welcome to live text commentary of day three of the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals at London's spectacular O2 Arena. World number three David Ferrer was swept aside by Rafael Nadal with a aplomb on Tuesday - will Stanislas Wawrinka have better luck? The smoke machines are ready, the music is blaring and the man or woman who is in control of the flashy blue lasers is hovering over the button ready to pounce.

  56. 1355: 
    Rafael Nadal

    Victory for Rafael Nadal against Stanislas Wawrinka will ensure he secures the year-end number one ranking. Should he achieve the feat, it will top an awesome year for the Spaniard since he returned from injury in February - he has so far won two Grand Slams - the French and US Open - plus eight other titles. But the Spaniard seems rather uninterested in the accolade.

    "The number one is not a goal for me any more," said Nadal. "Today the goal is to be healthy, be competitive, and for me it makes me much more happy to wins good tournament than be number one. It's not that number one doesn't matter, but it doesn't make me feel special."

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