Saturday, 17 April, 2021


Dimitrov turns on the style to reach last four at ATP Finals

Rafael Nadal GETTYRafael Nadal says he would have withdrawn win or lose against David Goffin
Melba Vasquez | 15 November, 2017, 20:08

But that victory was slightly devalued as the world number one was struggling with a knee injury and pulled out of the tournament after the match.

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.

"I'm happy that I was able to come out today and had actually good energy", Federer said. "My season is finished". Like I said, it's just another loss.

"I have already an idea with the tactics against him because I played so many times against him".

"In the second, I had some opportunities to come back, to break back, but he was really solid. It's about the pain and I can not hold with enough power to keep playing". Even if I lost four match points in the second, I had no regret. "It really doesn't make sense".

Rafael Nadal will have to wait another year to win the ATP Finals. "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". You have days like that, I work for those days. Then we will see. "I tried, but seriously was miracle to be very close in the score during the match".

He was, however, unable to continue his ruthless streak and become the first player since Roger Federer's trouncing against Gaston Gaudio in 2005 to record the flawless scoreline as eighth-ranked Goffin managed to get on the board in the ninth game to huge cheers from a sympathetic crowd.

Nadal was not at his best but his competitive spirit nearly carried him through as he converted all four break points that came his way, while saving eight of 13 on his own serve. The Belgian composed himself to hold and then earned three more match points but Nadal, showing incredible grit and playing right at the limit, saved all three to take it to another tie-break, which he won. Two weeks ago Nadal had withdrawn from the Paris Masters before his quarter-final match after experiencing pain in his right knee.

Finally it looked as though Goffin was facing up to the fight, taking Dimitrov to four deuces over nine minutes, but another wide forehand and it wasn't to be.

"Rafa is one of the strongest players mentally on the tour".

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