World No. 1 Rafael Nadal was stunned on Friday after suffering a straight sets defeat to David Goffin at the ATP Cup. The loss means that the Spaniard has lost only the second singles match of his career representing Spain in team events.
Nadal struggled to come to terms with the humid conditions in Sydney during his 6-4, 7-6(3) defeat. Goffin meanwhile dished out some impressive shots to stun Nadal saving eight out of the 10 break points he faced.
After winning the first set, Goffin received some stiff resistance from Nadal in the second set. After racing to a set and 4-2 lead, Nadal found another gear as he rallied back to level 4-4 to revive Spain’s hopes. However, it wasn’t enough to topple Goffin, who went out to prevail in the tiebreaker.
“I knew that Rafa had to take the ball early and some more risks because I was in the court trying to dictate all the time.” Goffin said during his on-court interview.
“I had to stick to my line, continued to move forward and that is what I did.”
Goffin ended last year by failing to win back-to-back matches at three consecutive tournaments and the Belgian world No.11 said his surge in form was partly down to his clash against Grigor Dimitrov earlier this week. On Tuesday, he came back from a set down to edge out the Bulgarian by winning 12 out of the last 16 games played. Winning 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.
“Probably from my other match against Grigor the confidence came back and I was ready for the fight from the first point until the end.” he explained.
“It was not easy (against Nadal) because I was a set and a break up. To hold my nerves until the end wasn’t easy, but I played a good tiebreak. I’m so Happy (to win) for Belgium.”