ATP Tour finals photo shows why Rafael Nadal is fan favourite at Turin official shoot

There is a lot going on in the official photo of the ATP Tour Finals — but Rafael Nadal’s pose has emerged as the biggest talking point.

The Spanish legend is one of the most loved players to ever pick up a tennis racquet and has enjoyed a fairytale season in winning two grand slams after being on the brink of retirement 12 months ago.

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His return to form has given him a place in the season-ending finals, being staged in Turin, Italy, this year alongside the highest other ranked played from the 2022 season.

Only world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz is missing from this year’s event, allowing world No. 9 Taylor Fritz to sneak into the top-eight showdown.

The official photo for the glamorous event surprised fans this year with players posing in casual clothing — a stark contrast to the recent tradition of players wearing formal and cocktail ensembles.

Nadal wore a simple grey zip-up hoodie, but it was his facial expression that has caught the eye of fans.

The shot chosen by the Tour as the event’s official photo shows Nadal as the only player smiling towards the camera.

The photo emphasises Nadal’s reputation as a smiling assassin — a character trait that has endeared him with so many fans.

Other photos taken from the shoot show Nadal’s competitors smiling away in front of the camera, but fans are having too much fun speculating about Nadal being the only player smiling when the players had clearly been told by the photographer to look serious.

The placing of former world No. 1 Novak Djokovic has also caught the eye of fans.

The Serbian posed in a bold jacket that stood out from the crowd with it’s multi-colour look.

Some fans have taken to Twitter to ask for organisers to return to the tradition of the players wearing tuxedos and suits — a policy that has previously served up iconic images, including one from the 2009 finals which showed Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Djokovic and Nadal posing in front of a London bus.

Nadal, meanwhile, has reason to smile and has a chance to snare the No. 1 ranking if he is able to win the Tour Finals for the first time.

He was placed into a group that avoids Djokovic, former world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev and world No. 2 Stefanos Tsitsipas.

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