epa07133347 Rafael Nadal of Spain holds a press conference to announce his withdrawal from the tournament at the Rolex Paris Masters tennis tournament in Paris, France, 31 0ctober 2018.
But he regrouped, romped to a fourth Wimbledon title the following month, a 32nd Masters in Cincinnati and then a third triumph at the US Open in September.
"Karen played really well and he deserved to win that match", said Djokovic, who defeated Switzerland's Roger Federer in a grueling match the day before to reach the finals.
"I have done everything possible to get to the end of the season in good condition".
Anderson could also take this achievement a heady step or two further by improving on his current world ranking of sixth and his recently-achieved temporary world ranking of fifth should he actually win the ATP Finals against the odds and move into a fourth-ranking position - thus far only achieved by South Africans in pre-ATP official rankings by Eric Sturgess (1949) and Cliff Drysdale (1967). "And, of course, I'm very, very happy and proud about it".
"Five months ago, if you told me that.it was highly improbable at that time, considering my ranking and the way I played and felt on the court". More worryingly, unlike Roger Federer (knee) or Djokovic (elbow), it is several body parts hampering Nadal.
On his page on "Twitter" Nadal reported that the early end of the season he was inclined to numerous health problems.More news: Tiger shot dead in India after allegedly killing 14 people
Its once again the time of the year where the creamiest of the cream tennis players defend against each other.
The beaten finalist at Melbourne Park in 2017, Nadal saw his Australian Open campaign end in painful fashion this January.
He finished 2011 with a 70-6 win-loss record, a haul of 10 tournament victories and the year-end number one spot for the first time.
The left-hander excels on the dirt and has won a staggering 11 French Open titles.
Nadal lost only four matches this year out of 49.
The issue was serious enough to also rule Nadal out of the Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami, but he went on to enjoy familiar success on clay, including yet another French Open title.
"What Novak has achieved this season has to go down as one of the great sporting comebacks", said ATP president Chris Kermode.