Nadal ready 'to die' to rediscover his best

The weak return of the legend did not diminish the ambitions for new Slam

Rafael Nadal says he is "dying" to try to return to the level of tennis that saw him win a record 22 Grand Slam singles matches after reaching his first ATP final.

title and year-end rise to world number one closed on Tuesday.

Nadal needed Fritz to beat Casper Ruud in straight sets on Tuesday to survive the final.

But when Ruudi won a set against Fritz, it marked the sudden departure of Nadal and also the fact that his teenage compatriot,

US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz, ended the year as the top men's player.

Nadal had to win the year-end title for the first time in his Cup career to prevent Alcaraz from becoming No. 1.