Nadal pulls out of ATP fi­nals af­ter Gof­fin de­feat

Daily Messenger - - Sportlight -

LON­DON: Rafael Nadal pulled out of the ATP Fi­nals, ad­mit­ting he had lost his fit­ness bat­tle af­ter crash­ing to de­feat in three sets to David Gof­fin in a thrilling en­counter.

The world num­ber one dug deep but was stunned 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (4/7), 6-4 by Gof­fin in his open­ing match of the end-of­sea­son fi­nale, which he has never won in his il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer.

The Spa­niard came into the tour­na­ment with doubts swirling over his fit­ness af­ter pulling out of the Paris Masters with a knee in­jury.

Ini­tially he showed no ob­vi­ous ill-ef­fects dur­ing a roller­coaster round-robin en­counter in front of a sup­port­ive crowd but even­tu­ally his in­jury caught up with him and forced him to ad­mit his sea­son is over.

"No, I am off," said Nadal. "My sea­son is fin- ished. 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," he 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."

Nadal said he would work hard to be ready for the start of the next sea­son.

"I know what I have to do," he said. "I know all the things that hap­pened in the past when I had th­ese things, and I know the treat­ment that I had to do. I know the pe­ri­ods of time that I need to work. Then if the treat­ment works or not, we will see."

Nadal, 31, strug­gled to find his range early in front of a rau­cous crowd root­ing for him and was bro­ken twice in the first set by the Bel­gian sev­enth seed, who had lost their pre­vi­ous two en­coun­ters.

The Spa­niard ap­peared to have earned a psy­cho­log­i­cal edge when Gof­fin dou­ble-faulted while serv­ing for the set and the match went into a tiebreak but the Bel­gian re­found his fo­cus to come out on top.

The se­cond set went with serve un­til the eighth game, when Gof­fin broke to earn a chance to serve for the match, only for Nadal to break back.

Gof­fin had a golden chance to seal the match in Nadal’s next ser­vice game but failed to put away a mid-court fore­hand on match point and the left­hander lev­elled at 5-5.

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