Nadal withdraws from ATP Finals after Goffin defeat

Rafael Nadal pulled out of the ATP Finals on Monday with injury following defeat to Belgium’s David Goffin in his opening Round Robin match.

Goffin had earlier surprised Nadal in their opening match with a 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (4/7), 6-4 win over the world number one.

The 31-year old Spaniard arrived in London with doubts over his fitness after withdrawing from the Paris Masters with a knee injury, but showed no signs of discomfort early on.

Although he struggled with his range and saw his serve broken twice in the first set by Goffin.

The Belgian seventh seed looked to have blown it when double-faulted while serving for the set, but he recovered to grab the lead in the tie-break.

Goffin then threw away the chance to win in straight sets after he had broken to lead 5-3, Nadal fighting back to parity after the Belgian once again double-faulted.

The 26-year old then wasted a match point at 5-4, and then three more at 6-5 before Nadal managed to level the match by taking the tie-break.

The Spaniard then appeared to feel some discomfort in his right knee as he was broken twice in the deciding set, but even then he refused to admit defeat, recovering one of the breaks before eventually admitting defeat.

Nadal confirmed his withdrawal after the match.

“I am off, my season is finished,” he said.

“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.”

Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta will replace Nadal as alternate.