In­jured Nadal ends sea­son:

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

LON­DON. - The spirit was as strong as ever but Rafael Nadal’s trou­ble­some knee failed him in the end as the Spa­niard quit the ATP Fi­nals af­ter a painful de­feat by Bel­gium’s David Gof­fin on Mon­day night.

Nadal, at 31 the old­est ten­nis player to fin­ish a year ranked num­ber one, fought un­til the last point, sav­ing four match points in a com­pelling Pete Sam­pras Group clash, be­fore los­ing 7-6(5), 6-7 (4), 6-4 in two hours and 37 min­utes.

World num­ber eight Gof­fin, the first player from Bel­gium to qual­ify for the year-end­ing tour­na­ment in its 48-year his­tory, was a bun­dle of nerves at times but fi­nally stead­ied him­self to put Nadal out of his mis­ery with his 14th ace.

Nadal could be seen gri­mac­ing as the match wore on, es­pe­cially when he was forced wide or low, but he still man­aged to scrap his way back from 4-1 down in the de­cider, de­spite ap­par­ently play­ing on one leg.

Min­utes af­ter de­feat, the 16-times grand slam cham­pion told re­porters that he was pulling out of the tour­na­ment.“My sea­son is fin­ished. I had a 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,” Nadal said.

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