Knee injury ends Nadal’s season, Goffin gets the win at World Tour Finals

Rafael Nadal’s World Tour Finals campaign is over. It wasn’t a good one. Nadal’s 2017 season is also over. It was a great one.

Undone by a knee injury, the Spaniard lost to David Goffin 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-4 during round-robin action on Monday night in London and then announced his withdrawal while talking to the media. Goffin, meanwhile, secured the biggest win of his career–at least in terms of ranking–after two hours and 37 minutes.

Nadal, who withdrew from the Paris Masters prior to the quarterfinals because of the same knee problem, did well to make this one so competitive. Goffin seemed to be cruising toward a straight-set victory on several occasions, but Nadal simply would not go away. As it turned out, though, the world No. 1 used up everything he had in his near-empty gas tank to steal the second set. Nothing remained for the third–in which he still won four games.

Even before the match was over, Nadal knew his tournament would not continue.

“I [knew] during the match,” he explained. (This) is not a decision I [took] five minutes ago; (this) is a decision that I [took] during the match. Even winning, even losing, I (was) going to pull out because I was not enjoying on court at 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. I (am) going to work hard to try to give me more chances the next season to keep being at the top.”

It is Goffin who is on top of Group A along with Grigor Dimitrov, who also survived a three-setter on Monday. Making his debut appearance at the O2 Arena, Dimitrov held off Dominic Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 during the afternoon session.

“It was just one of those new experiences that I think I’m going to remember for the rest of my life,” the Bulgarian assured. “I think (I’ll) appreciate (it) for the rest of my life. This is where I always wanted to be–among the top players. Also being able to come through in my first match, it’s only positive.”

Bob and Mike Bryan came through their first match, as well, also in a decider. After splitting  two sets against Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, the Bryans survived the super-tiebreaker 10-8. Murray Soares, who battle back from a break down in the second, could not quite overcome an 8-3 deficit in the ‘breaker.

The only straight-set result of the day saw Lukasz Kubot and Marcel Melo defeat Ivan Dodig and Marcel Granollers. With their victory, Kubot and Melo clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking.


56 Comments on Knee injury ends Nadal’s season, Goffin gets the win at World Tour Finals

  1. I bristled yesterday at a number of comments insinuating Rafa had planned (for dubious reasons) to withdraw after playing one match. He came hoping he could make a decent showing. We know his high pain threshold allows him to continue playing when most others would withdraw mid-match because he hates to let the tournament and his fans down. I believe as number 1 in the world he would have also felt a sense of obligation to take to the court. Reading between the lines by doing so I also suspect he went against the advice of his entourage!

    Happy Christmas to a great champion and looking forward to seeing you fit and healthy in the new year.

      • Rafa was NOT stupid to play in London! He felt an obligation as the #1 player and wanted to give it a shot. It’s his life, his career and no one here should presume to think they know better.

        It’s not about bravery. Rafa wanted to play in this tournament. His team would not have let him play if it would have presented too big a risk.

        Rafa will go home now and get a well deserved rest. The knee will heal now that he won’t be playing. He will get rehab and treatment and hopefully come back strong in 2018!

        Rest well champ!

    • Ed, there will always be people who will make accusations about your favorite player without evidence. It’s unfortunately part of competitive sports. You just have to learn to see right through it, and not let it get to
      you. 🙂

  2. Really wish Rafa hadn’t played. He has always tended to be over scrupulous in playing tourneys even when obviously putting strain on himself. It’s part of his strict upbringing and strong moral codes but I wish he would put himself first more often.
    I didn’t really believe the noise from Moya about his being good to go and always thought he didn’t really want Rafa to play.
    Just want Rafa to rest now and come back strong.
    Would like adorable thiem to win the group now but that seems unlikely.

    • Hey amy!!…How are u??God!…Missed u so much!!Hehe..It’s been a while since u came here!…Ermm….i’m fine amy..thank u very much for thinking about me…You’re okay over there amy??

      U watch Rafa play last nite amy??

      • No didn’t see it mira!!
        Really really didn’t want him to play here. After he got the #1 ranking think he should have wrapped things up
        Rafa always puts the tournament sponsors fans before his own needs.
        Are you really well mira?! Not just pretending?! Missed you too!!
        Am on my phone again! Scream! Aargh!!

        • Amy!!…U & me have the same wish bout Rafa to not play in London…God,i really wish that he just skipped WTF…just rest & concentrate on his treatment…now,i’m worried that he don’t have time to fully recovered for AO next year…Oh well..what is done was done…wish him all the best for his recovery..and already can’t wait for his next years participation at AO…

          And yeah…i am really well amy!Still kicking & alive!…no,no..not pretending!Swear amy!!..To prove it to u,just the other day,i kick Stanleyley’s ass!…That’s why he’s rambling unintelligibly bout our Rafa nowadays…Hehehe…Aaaaaooooo!!

          U use your phone again amy??Urgh!!…Misery!!

          • I am worried about ao as well mira! But he will get the stem cell treatment which really helps his knee. But he won’t have much time to put in work in the off season…
            Always good to see you doing some top knotch ass kicking mira!! Keep up the good work!
            Am very glad you’re well hon!!!God I hate writing on my beastly phone!!!
            Vamos Rafa!!

            • Yeah amy…i wonder whether 5 or 6 weeks is enough time to fully recovered from his injury…He’s already play in Dubai at the end of December right?But,let see how fast he will recovered this time…

              Amy!…u sounds busy..u take care of yourself k??I mean it!!..Love u amy!!

            • Sorry mira!!
              I didn’t want to say in case you started to worry but I am ill in bed…it’s not serious!!
              Actually it’s very cosy lying in bed watching the TV! I never normally get to watch tennis in the afternoon!!
              Love you too!

            • You’re ill amy??is it flu??Make sure u take a medication k?And a hot chicken soup is heaven too while watching tv!…U watch Socks/Cilic now amy?

            • Yeah it’s flu mira! I have had it for 2 weeks and am much better!
              Am watching cilic sock!
              Drinking loads of camomile tea and eating dark chocolate!!

            • YAAYYY!!…I guess camomile tea & dark chocolate did their magic wonderfully amy!!Hehe….Hey!…who u rooted for amy?Socks or Cilic?Socks a different player since he won Paris right?

            • Amy can I have some dark chocolate🍫 ?
              Amy i wish u good health and I hope you recover.

              I don’t want J. Sock win.

  3. Didn’t see match last night. Am watching cilic sock now and British commies saying no question Rafa was in pain and all credit to him for trying to play and not walking out mid match
    Who do you believe – Tim Herman who was high in the top 10 for years or the haters who only have proficiency in shooting their mouths off?!

  4. I was courtside yesterday for Rafa’s match and despite his knee problem he actually put the spark at the WTF which was woefully lacking on Sunday with Roger v Sock being one of the dullest live matches I have ever watched courtside. The only highlight of the day and worth the cost of the ticket was to see Rafa presented with the YE #1 trophy.

  5. I am more worried about his participation for AO. Will he be fit ? I dont know the treatment but its a niggling problem.I am assuming he will take 5 weeks off now . He would be rested but how would the knee behave is a million dollar question ?

    I hope tomorrow’s match did not do any damage . He will undergo tests . Rafa needs to schedule 2018 a lot more smarter than 2017.

    • I doubt he will change much his schedule. I do hope he just stops grinding and plays more aggressive tennis – like his clay season and his Beijing tournament this season.

      If the AO is as quick a court as it is of 2017, then all the more Rafa should be more offensive than defensive. I think other than the clay courts, it’s only IW and Miami that are the slower courts; the other HC surfaces from Canada to WTF are medium to medium fast courts so all the more Rafa should play more offensively.

      If his knee is ok and if he serves well (at least like in 2017), he will do well in 2018 playing a more offensive game in all his matches. I think cutting down grinding may help his knee, hopefully to last a full season injury free.

      • Rafa almost made it through a whole season without injury. It’s too bad that it had to end the way it did, but Rafa gave us so many great moments.

        I don’t know how he is going to schedule his season in 2018. Maybe play less after the USO.

        I do hope he is ready for the AO. Jim Courier said on the tennis channel that he thinks Rafa has one more big thing to do in tennis – win the AO and the double career slam. I thought it was interesting that he brought that up. It is what I want most for Rafa. He’s had such tough luck at the AO. I would love to see him do it.

          • MA,

            Hey there! Let’s just think of Rafa resting back home with his family and friends. He is going to take care of the knee and get done down time. He did what he felt he needed to do and I respect him for that. Whether he should have played or not, in the end he made his decision. If it makes it any easier for him to go home now and take it easy, then so be it.

            Rafa will get the knee treated. He will get the best of care. Just not playing tennis will help. Maybe stem cell treatment as Amy said.

            Rafa can be happy about all that he has achieved this year. It was a comeback for the ages and I am just glad I got to see it and share it with the great Rafa fans here!
            😀

            • Hey Nny!!…hahaha…U sounds like Okie on TX when i’m ranting about Rafa to her!!hehehe…And of coz you both right!!…Sorry Nny!…just needs to let out my opinion that is all…

          • Hope you weren’t too upset about last night nny?!!
            Win or lose,healthy or injured, Rafa always oozes dignity guts and class!
            2017 has been a great year for him come what may!

            • amy,

              It was hard to see Rafa in pain. I never like to see that. So he gave it a shot and the knee didn’t hold up. At least he can go home now and rest!

              Rafa never ceases to amaze me! He is pure class all the way! So proud of him!
              😀

  6. I want to join the “Fedal army”, I am strong, handsome( it’s that a requirement), smart, kind, sweet, sweet, sweet, did I mention that i am sweet, I am sweet.

    How are you guy’s doing?

    Rafa did his best but fell short, there is always next year, I know he will do well next year, he will comeback stronger and better next year.

    Be hopeful OK!
    I wish my one and only Rafito a full recovery.
    💪👌😉

  7. Comeon guys, AO is still more than 2 months away. He will sure be fit.
    Take a month off to rest the aching knees and he will be fine.

  8. Rafa in 2017 WTF somehow reminds me off Djoker’s 2011 WTF performance. He played DC after he hurt his back after USO 2011. He had a bad WTF. But he rested aad came back well after that.

    I still think it was a blessing that Rafa lost his first WTF match and withdrew immediately. He almost gets one extra week , better to lose early than in finals.

    I would assume even practice would make the knee worse although real match is a different story.

    I dont think Rafa took 2 full weeks off after Shanghai. He needs a total one month off from tennis and his practice sessions as well. If need be , he can pull out from year end exhibition as well and focus on Brisbane/Qatar to get his mojo.

    Going forward he needs to make a habit of turning into form in big eventsby playing fewer warmups.

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