Rafeal Nadal suffers Defeat to David Goffin
The world No. 1 faced a race to be fit for the season-ending event but though he made it to the start line, it was clear his knee injury was going to be too big an obstacle to overcome.
Although he fought bravely against world No. 8 Goffin, the right knee problem that has plagued him since the Shanghai Masters final against Roger Federer reared its ugly head again and he went down 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 in two hours and 38 minutes. After such a gruelling epic, Nadal decided he could not continue at the tournament and announced his withdrawal. ‘I am off, my season is finished,’ the world number one said after the match.
He did well to avoid going 1-5 down in the third, but there was only so much fight he could offer. His compatriot Pablo Carreño Busta is waiting in the wings as the first alternate.
Goffin was by turn heroic and profligate, as was the Spaniard – but it was the Belgian who held it together for the best result of his career. “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.