Nadal Ends Season After Goffin Loss in London, Dimitrov Wins
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) November 14, 2017
(November 13,2017) Despite obvious knee pain, Rafael Nadal battled hard in a three-set loss to No. 8 David Goffin at the ATP World Tour Finals in London, after which he promptly withdrew from the tournament and ended his fourth No. 1 season at the O2 Arena in London on Monday.
Nadal to media after the match: “My season is finished. 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, no? I really fighted a lot during the match, but knowing that probably was a big chance to be the last match of the season. That what’s going to be.
“Well, is not a decision at all. Is about the pain. I cannot hold with enough power to keep playing. I tried, but seriously was miracle to be very close in the score during the match.
“It really don’t make sense.”
“I know what I have to do. 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.
“The good thing is nothing new. Everybody of my team, we have the right experience on this thing. We hope to manage it well, to have the right rest, the right work, and try to be ready for the beginning of the next season.”
“My commitment was try, no? Was the last event of the season. Another thing will be if that was in the middle of the season or was another kind of event.
“But, yeah, is an event I missed too many times in my career. But that’s how it work, my career, at the same time. I can’t complain. I feel very lucky about all the things that are happening to me.
“But in the other hand, is true that I am probably the top player that had more injuries and more troubles in the careers of everyone, no? Is always about this challenge. But I am used to this and I know what I have to do. I think I am ready to do it.”
“I know during the match. Is not a decision I take five minutes ago. Is a decision that I take during the match. Even winning, even losing, I going to pull out because I was not enjoying on court at all. Was not fun to play like this. I really believed that I don’t deserve after this great season to spend two more days on court with this terrible feelings, no? That’s all.
“I am, of course, disappointed. 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 life for this unforgettable one.
“I going to work hard to try to give me more chances the next season to keep being at the top and fighting for the most important things.
“Thank you, and Merry Christmas, everyone.”
Fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta will replace Nadal in the Pete Sampras group in the tournament.
For David Goffin, the 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-4 win was his first over a No. 1 player. Nadal saved four match points in the second set to send it to a decider.
“On the paper it’s the best win of my career, for sure, to beat Rafa,” noted the Belgian. “But, yeah, I saw that he was struggling a little bit with his movement on the court, and his knee was suffering a little bit.
“But anyway it was tough. It was tough even if he was not moving 100%. He was hitting the ball really hard. It was not easy. It’s never easy to finish a match, to finish a set against him. Even if I lost four match points in the second, I had no regret. I kept going in the third.
“Yes, it is the best win of my career, but it was, yeah, a special one against Rafa who was not 100%.”
During the day session, in the battle of the one-handed backhands, No. 6 Grigor Dimitrov defeated Austrian Dominic Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 7-5. Dimitrov was making his debut at the ATP Finals, the first man from Bulgaria.
“It’s not only big for me, I think it’s for my whole country, for Bulgaria,” said Dimitrov. “It’s great for me to show that everything is possible. You push the boundaries, doesn’t matter where you’re from, it’s all up to you, everything is in your hands. Basically whatever you put in is what you get.
“Yeah, I think it’s a very special moment for me, but I hope also for the country and I think for the people, just to realize that whatever you put your mind into, if you push those boundaries every day, if you work hard, the sky’s the limit. You can dream every day. I’m a dreamer (smiling).
“So, yeah, I know at some point things would go my way. I think lately things have been going good. If I’m here, it means that I’m doing something right.”
“I think every year you learn more about yourself, about the game, about the players. I mean, I’ve done also a lot of work on and off the court. I think it finally is starting to kind of, like, come together.
“I think the past 10 months I’ve been playing against super elite players. I think also at some point, yeah, I was looking back to who I’ve lost my matches against and all that. It has always been quality players, like higher-ranked players. I mean, that’s a good sign.”