The world number one, Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the ATP Finals following defeat to David Goffin in his Round Robin match on Monday night, with compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta entering the fray as an alternate.
Nadal raced to be fit for the season-ending event but though he made it to the start line, it was clear that he struggled with knee injury during his loss to Goffin.
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,’ he said after the match.
‘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.’