Loss can't take shine off Rafa's dream year

Updated: 2013-11-13 07:20

By Agence France-Presse in London (China Daily)

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Rafael Nadal insists his failure to win a first ATP World Tour Finals title can't take the shine off one of the best seasons of his career.

Nadal had hoped to finish a glorious 2013 campaign by beating Novak Djokovic in the final of the prestigious Tour Finals on Monday.

But the world No 1 suffered one of his few painful defeats this year as Djokovic cruised to a 6-3, 6-4 victory.

Yet the 27-year-old was adamant there was no way one loss was going to take anything away from his achievements over the past 10 months.

Exactly one year ago, Nadal was battling knee tendinitis and feared he would never return to the top of the sport.

But since coming back in February he has won 10 titles, including the French and US Opens, and regained his position at the top of the rankings.

"It's very special what happened this year. For me, the emotions of this year after a tough time have been fantastic," Nadal said.

"All the achievements, all the success that I had this year, I am talking 100 percent honestly now, without my family and all my team it's impossible to do what I did, with so much success and so many special moments.

"It's the day to say congratulations and thanks to all the people who were behind me. supporting me and helped me work in the days when I was down."

The loss denied Nadal a place in the record books as he would have become only the second man after Andre Agassi to have won all four Grand Slams, an Olympic gold medal, the Davis Cup and the Tour Finals.

But, asked if he was frustrated to have missed out on such a rare achievement, Nadal said: "No. That's the sport. Seriously, I don't think winning or losing today is going to change my career.

"I will not be a better player whether I won or lost. Maybe I am wrong, but that's my feeling.

"I normally accept losses very well and I am not very disappointed about this one.

"I know that I was not the favorite for the match, even if I tried with the right attitude, fighting for every moment, trying to be positive in every moment, even if the match was not going the way that I would like."

Although Nadal holds a 22-17 edge over Djokovic in their 39 meetings, the world No 2 has now won their past two clashes, in Beijing and London.

 Loss can't take shine off Rafa's dream year

Rafael Nadal holds up the runner-up shield after being beaten by Novak Djokovic on Monday. Carl Court / Agence France-Presse

(China Daily 11/13/2013 page23)