Monday night | Forum

Topic location: Forum home » General » General Chat
Dimitrov said courtside Rafael Nadal, who surprised even himself by ending the season No1 in the world, finished it down and out in Paris and London, calling it quits for 2017 on Monday night after losing against David Goffin in his first match of the ATP World Tour Finals. Men's Yogi Ferrell Swingman Navy Blue Adidas Jersey: NBA Dallas Mavericks #11 AlternateHis wounded knee gave up on him after two matches in Bercy last week and on the banks of the Thames it collapsed again under his vigorous hitting, as Goffin cashed in after blowing four match points to win 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-4 in two hours and 36 minutes. This end-of-season title is the only significant bauble in the game to elude Nadal and, at 31, he might go through his trophy-heavy career regarding it as his personal hell. ��I am off,�� he said matter-of-factly.��My season is finished. I had the commitment with the event, with the city, with myself. I tried hard. It is about the pain. I cannot hold with enough power to keep playing. It was a miracle to be even close to the score.�� The clay-courter supreme has invariably travelled here in trepidation, having withdrawn five times in 13 visits, losing twice in finals, and again the Spaniard��s suspicions about the rigours of the indoor hardcourt were confirmed. As for the future and his prospects of making it to the line for the Australian Open in January, Nadal said: ��I know what I have to do. I know the periods of time that I need to work. If the treatment works or not, we will see. The good thing is it is nothing new. Everybody on my team has the right experience [to deal with the injury]. We hope to manage it, to have the right rest, the right work, and to try to be ready for the beginning of the next season.�� 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 Carre?o Busta is waiting in the wings as the first alternate. Goffin was by turn heroic and profligate, as was the Spaniard �C 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. After the second set, after losing four match points, I don��t know. I just wanted to keep going in the third, enjoy every point to the end. It��s not over yet. After Nadal clawed his way back from an early break to parity in the 10th game of the first set, expectation strangled Goffin��s work. A double fault tipped him into a tie-break. Nadal, after a string of loose groundstrokes, served at 5-6 to stay in the set �C but he dumped a backhand and Goffin breathed easily. It was a disjointed affair, dramatically at odds with the fluid tennis that had preceded it, when Grigor Dimitrov beat Dominic Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 in two of the best sets of the long season. Little flowed smoothly in the night match. After an hour, Goffin was bossing it, with 10 aces making up nearly half of his 21 winners, while Nadal was curiously passive, guarding his injured knee. Nadal had won more than a hundred matches in his career from a set down, and eight of 14 this season but his timing was off and the keen golfer was hooking routine backhands into the rough with worrying regularity. When Goffin smacked a startling forehand across Nadal��s static bow to go 5-3 up in the second, the match was his to lose. Stepping up to serve for the upset, he could not have been more imbued with confidence.The Belgian has blown leads before this season, but there was little he could do about the sizzling backhand winner that left him stranded at 30-30. Nor was he in the right place to handle the down-the-line winner that gave Nadal another look. But a sloppy double fault was his own doing and Nadal was back in the match. Goffin did brilliantly to fashion a match point �C and woefully to squander it, before Nadal tigerishly got to a second tie-break, this time wrapping it up without fuss.In the third, Nadal��s miseries multiplied. His movement stiffened, and this time Goffin stayed strong as his struggling prey grew weaker in the fight.Earlier, Dimitrov and Thiem lit up the royal blue arena on the second day with classicism from another era. Alongside Federer, they are the only players in the top 20 with single-handed backhands �C and how they let them flow. It was Dimitrov��s that whirred most like a scimitar under the TV lights, though, bringing him nine clean winners in two hours and 19 minutes on his way to subduing the gifted Austrian. The first Bulgarian to make the eight-player finals, Dimitrov said courtside: ��I��m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous in my first match. Great conditions, but you come in and you feel the weight on your shoulders. It��s never easy to play for the first time. Entering this tournament was a dream, not just to compete, but to win. Things seem to be going the right way so far. You fail and you get back up again. There were a few close calls. On to the next one.�� In the afternoon, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares regretted missed opportunities against the American Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, who survived two concerted fightbacks to win 7-5, 6-7 (3), 10-8.Trust in raw talent is no guarantee of victory in any sport, and it was tested to snapping point when Roger Federer survived a serious examination of his pedigree to advance to the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals, while Jack Sock also stayed in the race. Sock, full of American swagger on his first visit to the singles tournament, beat the 2014 US Open champion and this year��s Wimbledon finalist Marin Cilic 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (4) in two hours and 37 minutes in the afternoon, while Federer, who has won six of these end-of-season titles, beat the rising Alexander Zverev 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-1 in the evening. It took the Swiss Sterling Shepard Jersey two hours and 11 minutes, although not all of that experience was entirely serene.Federer plays Cilic on Thursday afternoon, clearly designed to ramp up day-time ticket sales in Sterling Shepard Jersey a tournament shredded by the absence of the injured Andy Murray, Novak Womens Sterling Shepard Jersey Djokovic, Stan Warwinka, Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori, as well as the less-than-surprising departure of Rafael Nadal after limping to heroic defeat on one good knee against David Goffin on Monday. Sock plays Zverev in the evening TV slot. Federer, who had not dropped a set here this week, said courtside after a rousing comeback against Zverev: ��It was a good battle. I was trying to put a lot of balls in play. It was tough. I don��t think I qualified for the ATP World Finals at 20. I��m very excited for his future. He��s a great guy. I��m relieved that in the last match I can play freely against Cilic. Maybe now I can work on my game a little.�� Reflecting on his performance, he told Sky: ��I��m using the slice behind the baseline normally but I got stuck, a little too passive a few times. I struggled on the offence a few times today. [But] I��m qualified again for the semis. I couldn��t be happier.�� After 24 games, Zverev, already No3 in the world �C the ranking that the injured Murray held in absentia until tumbling to No16 in the world �C held three set points on Federer��s serve, and the arena was on edge all around the 20,000 seats as the Swiss strained to keep the contest down to two sets and an early night. The tension remained ramped to the limit as a wayward Federer backhand allowed the Russian-German to level at a set each. They had been playing for precisely two hours, a symmetry that would soon be ripped asunder. The finish was nowhere near as fraught as the beginning. Federer had lost only four times in 53 matches this year: but only the Russian Evgeny Donskoy in the second round in Dubai in February, and Tommy Haas, at the first time of asking in Stuttgart in June, had beaten him from a set down.When Zverev blew a 40-0 lead with a lazy forehand to drop serve for 1-4 in the third, the game looked pretty much up. A double fault to hand Federer victory was more than symbolic. Zverev was tired, spent and well beaten. In an must-win match, Zverev has to defeat Sock on Thursday. It won��t be easy.��That was a tough one, for sure,�� Sock, here for the first time in singles, said after beating, the Croatian��s seventh defeat in eight matches here over the years. ��It��s been an interesting morning so far,�� the American said. ��The fire alarm went off in our hotel at 4am. ��I love playing in London. You make me feel at home. My coach nicknamed me Showtime when I was young because I always love to play in front of people. There��s always a lot going on. I don��t even know what I��m doing some times.��