Rafael Nadal loses the first match, withdraws from ATP finals

Goffin won against a struggling Nadal with injured knee

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal, the current number 1, was surprised by aggressive game by Goffin. The number 1 seeded player has withdrawn from ATP world tour finals after being defeated in his first match against David Goffin.

Nadal fought hard with struggling knee before losing 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (4-7) 6-4.

Goffin broke early and was looking well set to win the first set. However, Nadal fought hard and the set was taken to tie-breaker. A faulty backhand however made it easier at the end of tie-breaker.

Nadal is a champion player, he has won more than 100 games being one set down. He started the second set in a sound fashion and won it in a tie-breaker.

However, a wounded knee ensured that he could not clinch the vital moments. The misery continued for Nadal, he was weakened and his knee wasn’t helping him much. Goffin, on the other hand, stayed strong, increased his energy level and went on to clinch the victory. However, Nadal with his wounded knee did manage to give a very good fight. Although struggling, but managing to win a set, and taking another to tie-breaker against 8 seeded player was a good job.

 “It was a tough fight,” Goffin said. “Rafa is such a big fighter, one of the strongest players mentally on the tour. To do it here was really special. I’m looking forward to coming back in two days. After the second set, after losing four match points, I don’t know. I just wanted to keep going in the third, enjoy every point to the end. It’s not over yet.”

Immediately after losing the match, he called off his season.

“My season is finished. I had the commitment with the event, with the city, with myself. I tried hard. It is about the pain. I cannot hold with enough power to keep playing. It was a miracle to be even close to the score.”

Nadal had a lovely season where he started as 9th ranked player and ended the year with ATP World No. 1 trophy in his hands. He will now be concentrating on preparing for new season.

Nadal is yet to win an ATP finals trophy where he has withdrawn 5 times out of 13 he has played. He managed to reach the finals twice, however, lost on both occasions. This confirms the reason why Spaniard wants this event to be held on Clay, at least, occasionally.

When asked about the future prospects, Nadal said that he was clear about his future and knows what to do for the next season.

“I know what I have to do. I know the periods of time that I need to work. If the treatment works or not, we will see. The good thing is it is nothing new. Everybody on my team has the right experience [to deal with the injury]. We hope to manage it, to have the right rest, the right work, and to try to be ready for the beginning of the next season.”

Nadal may be tested his body too much to reach the no. 1 rankings, whereas, Roger Federer with his picky approach throughout the year, has managed to pull off a decent year. He has ended as number 2, but he is now clear favorite for ATP World Tour Finals trophy and will narrow his gap. If Federer manages to win this, he will be trailing by just 100 odd points for no. 1 rankings.

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