The question on every Rafael Nadal fan’s lips is whether he will end the 2018 season on a high by taking part in the ATP World Tour Finals. And the answer is, well, nobody is sure.
Not even Nadal himself.
After withdrawing from the Paris Masters – and getting booed in the process by the Paris crowd – Nadal will now look to get fit in time for the start of the World Tour Finals that begins from November 11 in which he will be joined by seven other top players in the world.
And having never won a World Tour Finals title, he will be gunning for it but that will not be all.
When the new ATP Rankings get updated next Monday, Nadal will be pushed down to number two, overtaken by Novak Djokovic and he if he misses out on the World Tour Finals, he won’t be able to end the year as the top-ranked player. One of Djokovic or Roger Federer would have taken that crown.
When queried about his chances on featuring in the World Tour Finals, Nadal said he will need to play the wait-and-watch game.
“I am very sorry but I cannot answer you. I just go day by day, as I did all my tennis career.”
He admitted he would love to feature in London but he would have to check his health on a day by day basis.
What makes it worse for Nadal is he’s not been able to compete in too many tournaments this year, having featured in nine and even then, ending up retiring from two of them because of fitness concerns.
These withdrawals included one at the Australian Open and then another at the US Open ending his run at the quarter-final and semi-final stage respectively. Nadal would hate for him to have a repeat of this season next year, which means that could be another concern – he wouldn’t want to aggravate his injury moving into the new season.
And Nadal made a cryptic remark to that effect:
“I can talk about a pain that bothers me every time that I serve. It would not be fair to say it’s a real injury today but what is sure, if I continue it will be a real injury.”
“As you know, when you come back after injuries, and you push a little bit the body at the beginning, some issues can happen.”
At the moment, it’s a matter of wait and watch for Nadal.