Last man stand­ing

Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

LONDON: Rafael Nadal’s dra­matic with­drawal from the ATP Fi­nals in London leaves Roger Fed­erer as the only megas­tar stand­ing at a tour­na­ment now look­ing se­ri­ously short of star power. The Span­ish world num­ber one pro­duced an as­ton­ish­ing never-say-die per­for­mance in his open­ing round-robin match at the O2 Arena late on Mon­day de­spite ob­vi­ous dis­com­fort, dig­ging deep to save four match points be­fore even­tu­ally suc­cumb­ing to a tena­cious David Gof­fin. With No­vak Djokovic and Andy Mur­ray side­lined through in­jury, Fed­erer is the only gen­uine star left in London and is the clear favourite to lift his sev­enth year-end ti­tle at the grand old age of 36. For all the show­biz vibe at the event, the num­bers do not lie — all the re­main­ing com­peti­tors at the tour­na­ment have a sin­gle Grand Slam ti­tle be­tween them, com­pared to Fed­erer’s haul of 19. Nadal, who pulled out of the Paris Masters this month with a knee in­jury, said it was a “mir­a­cle” that he stayed so close to Gof­fin dur­ing his 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (4/7), 6-4 de­feat, in­sist­ing he had done all he could. “My sea­son is fin­ished,” the Spa­niard said. “Yeah, I had the com­mit­ment with the event, with the city, with my­self. I tried hard. I did the thing that I had to do to try to be ready to play. But I am re­ally not ready to play.” “Is about the pain,” Nadal added. “I can­not hold with enough power to keep play­ing. I tried, but se­ri­ously it was a mir­a­cle to be very close in the score dur­ing the match. It re­ally doesn’t make sense.” The Spa­niard, who will be re­placed in the event by his com­pa­triot and world num­ber 10 Pablo Car­reno Busta, said he hopes to be ready for the start of the 2018 sea­son. “I am, of course, dis­ap­pointed,” he said. “But I am not go­ing to cry. I had a great sea­son. I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate all the things that hap­pened to me dur­ing the whole sea­son. Thanks

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