ATP World Tour Finals player ratings: Rafael Nadal flops, David Goffin is surprise package The O2 Arena is one of the most spectacular venues on tour, an indoor stadium with a capacity of 17,800 and the organisers put on a show when the tennis comes to town with light displays, pumping tunes and of course, the world’s best tennis players. The unique round-robin format guarantees the crowd even more chances to see each player and 2017 has not disappointed with more than 200,000 streaming into east London for the action. But how did each player rate in the eyes of our man on the ground James Gray? Here are the ATP World Tour Finals players assessed one by one. Rafael Nadal (No 1 seed; withdrew after one match of round robin; one defeat) There are two ways of viewing Nadal’s solitary match, a three-sets defeat to David Goffin on Monday night: either you can laud his bravery for turning up and trying to play or you can criticise him for coming to play one match and collecting the appearance money in the knowledge he would be withdrawing. I fall on the latter side. After limping out of the Paris Masters, he knew full well five matches in a week would be impossible. Instead, he played through the pain in London, the damage of which could be two-fold. Irrespective of how well he claims to know the knee injury, there is little doubt that by playing three gruelling sets of tennis he took a risk of damaging it further. Secondly, he took a lot of energy out of Goffin, whose run to the final was in spite of having to see off the ever-gritty Nadal. And thirdly, he left Pablo Carreno Busta in limbo and deprived him of any realistic chance of making the semi-finals. Dominic Thiem (No 4 seed; eliminated after round robin; one win, two defeats) No man in the top 10 has played more tennis than Dominic Thiem this year, and he has done so under the relentlessly demanding eye of coach Gunter Bresnik, who has given him little leeway. The Austrian looked exhausted from the first game but pushed Dimitrov to three sets and battled to a hard-fought win over Carreno Busta, a customer who is never easily dismissed. His loss to Goffin that scarcely lasted an hour was a sad way to bow out but he was a valuable addition to the tournament, even if the results didn’t all go his way. Marin Cilic (No 5 seed; eliminated after round robin; three defeats) No fan could complain about not getting their money’s worth out of Cilic, whose three losses all went the distance and saw him accumulate 92 games on court altogether (compared to Goffin’s miserly 77!). Having already been eliminated, the Croatian could easily have rolled over on Friday and let Roger Federer, who had already qualified for the semi-finals, through in straight sets. But instead he nicked the first-set tie-break before the Swiss bounced back to win 6-7, 6-4, 6-1. And the brief lead against Federer did little to paper over the fact that he hardly turned up against Alexander Zverev and Jack Sock. Alexander Zverev (No 3 seed; eliminated after round robin, one win, two defeats) Zverev skipped the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, for players 21 years of age and under, to focus on this tournament – and avoided all the controversy it attracted. But he struggled to produce his best tennis in London despite winning the second set against a misfiring Federer. The German subsequently collapsed in the last set and sealed the match with a double-fault. Things got no better for the 20-year-old either as he was beaten by Sock on Thursday to see him miss out on the semi-finals. Jack Sock (No 8 seed; eliminated by Dimitrov in semi-finals; two wins, two defeats) By his own admission, Sock “shouldn’t even have been here”. A remarkable run from outside the top 20, including a first ever Masters 1000 title in Paris, catapulted him into the last qualification spot and he pounced on the opportunity. The American won many fans with his cheeky smile and spectacular forehand, as well as his upset win over Zverev to qualify for the semis. The “Showtime” entertainment ran out in the knockout rounds though as he lost 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 to Dimitrov in the semis. Roger Federer (No 2 seed; eliminated by Goffin in semi-finals; three wins, one defeat) Winning ugly is not a phrase often associated with tennis’ most majestic champion. However, that is what Federer has had to do in a week where his best form has often deserted him. Beating Sock on Sunday was his only straight-sets victory and he has spent plenty of time behind the baseline, picking at strings and chastising himself for errors. That said, his rating cannot dip too low because he did win all his group matches and reach the semi-finals, where Goffin capitalised on another sluggish performance to reach the final. David Goffin (No 7 seed; result to follow; three wins, one defeat) Wednesday’s defeat to Dimitrov was one of the heaviest of Goffin’s career and it looked as though that would be his tournament. He denied that the physically and mentally draining win over Nadal had affected him but it clearly had as he failed to muster enough energy to win more than two games. But what a win it had been, punching through the court time and again, rallying when nerves got the better of him in the final set to close out the match. He followed it with wins over the exhausted Thiem and mis-firing Federer to reach the biggest match of his career, and for beating both 2017 Grand Slam winners in a week he deserves a huge amount of credit. Grigor Dimitrov (No 6 seed; result to follow; four wins) For me, the player of the tournament. Thanks to his points won in London, he will finish the year as world No 3, eight places higher than he has ever managed before and 13 higher than this time last year. His demolitions of Carreno Busta and Goffin were spectacularly clinical and while his serve went to pieces in the first set against Sock, he was otherwise flawless on the way to the final. Is 2018 going to be the year Dimitrov finally reaches the level he promised as a junior? On this showing, it could be.