Rafael Nadal has become the latest casualty from the ATP World Tour Finals after deciding to opt out of the competition because of fitness concerns.
The Spaniard world number two joins Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro in missing the tournament.
Nadal had retired from his US Open semi-final, coincidentally against del Potro because of a knee issue and returned back to competitive tennis only at the Paris Masters last week. However, even before he could take to court in Paris, Nadal had to withdraw from the tournament because of an abdominal strain.
Speaking on Twitter, Nadal admitted it had been a forgettable year, calling it a complicated one given he did well when he played but frustrating given he wasn’t able to play much.
As a result, Nadal will also lose his year-ending number one spot to Novak Djokovic, who had become the top-ranked player when the rankings were updated earlier today.
“I have done everything possible to get to the end of the season in good condition, both to Paris and to London, doing things well, and I really wanted to play.”
“Unfortunately, I had the abdominal problem in Paris last week and I also have a free body in the ankle joint that has to be removed in the operating room [on Monday].”
Nadal informed that thanks to the abdominal issue, he was able to take the off-time and use it to get a surgery done to remove the ‘free body’ from his ankle.
The Spaniard won the French Open earlier this year, which was his 17th Grand Slam title, but since the he has had a struggle with the results.
Earlier the withdrawal of del Potro had meant that Kei Nishikori was able to replace him in the competition. Nadal’s withdrawal allows John Isner to make it to the competition. The pair will be joined by Djokovic, Roger Federer, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Marin Cilic and Kevin Anderson in the eight-man round-robin competition.