Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Nadal withdrew from the Final tournament and ended the season

Novak Djokovic Karen Khachanov Rafael Nadal: Spaniard to have surgery on ankle injury and miss ATP Finals
Shannon Reynolds | 07 November, 2018, 20:15

Novak Djokovic is back at No. 1 in the ATP rankings after a two-year absence - and the first man in almost two decades to rise to the top spot after being outside the top 20 in the same season.

By virtue of Nadal's withdrawal, Novak Djokovic has mathematically clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking.

"I have done everything possible to reach the end of the season in good condition, both in Paris and London, and I really wanted to play", Nadal said. To win the last tournament of the season - a Masters 1000.

But he has time on his side - Federer has already celebrated his 37th birthday while injury-plagued Nadal is 32.

Rafael Nadal says he needs an operation on his right ankle and will miss the ATP Finals in London this month.

Nadal would have been in the same group as Djokovic, but far from making it easier, Becker believes his big-serving replacement, John Isner, has actually made the draw even tougher.

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He also quit at the 2006 and 2007 French Opens at the third round and quarter-final stages respectively, while at the 2009 Australian Open, where he was defending champion, he pulled out of his quarter-final with Andy Roddick citing heat exhaustion.

Furthermore, Djokovic enjoys a lifetime 25-22 record over Federer and 27-25 against Nadal.

Nadal - who has not featured on the ATP Tour since retiring ahead of his semi-final with Juan Martin del Potro at the US Open in September - posted an update to Twitter on Wednesday morning (AEDT), confirming he had returned following procedure.

There, he proved to be too strong for Dominic Thiem and he showed no sign of nerves in the final against Novak Djokovic as well, defeating the Serb 7-5 6-4 to wrap up the first Masters 1000 title after rattling off four Top 10 wins for one of the most impressive runs at Masters 1000 events at such a young age.

Any year in which you win an 11th title at Roland Garros, Barcelona and Monte Carlo is hardly a wasted one, and yet this has been a deeply frustrating year for Nadal. But I also do realize I'm pretty fortunate this year in getting in.

However, Nadal's primary focus once again next year may well be the clay season.

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