Injured Nadal Withdraws From Paris Ahead Of Semi-final Against Shapovalov
Second seed Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Rolex Paris Masters ahead of his semi-final due to an abdominal injury he sustained during his warm-up. He made the decision not to play on recommendation of the on-site doctors.
"I hope to be ready for London," Nadal said. "That’s the biggest goal right now."
Nadal said that as he hit one of his last serves during his warm-up, he felt something in his abdominal, and immediately went to see the tournament doctor, who ran a test. A second test showed what the Spaniard says is likely a small strain. He returned to the court to see how serving would feel, but the pain remained.
"We can call it unlucky, we can call it different things, but it happened today. And when things happen, the only thing that you can do is accept it. And even if it's a tough situation for me, I need to stay positive," Nadal said. "Finishing out like this is always a very negative thing, but the rest of the things of the week have been very positive... I enjoyed a lot playing here in Bercy, after a while without being able to enjoy this atmosphere in this amazing stadium, and I enjoyed playing good tennis.
"I have played three great matches, and I have been enjoying a lot being on court. So it's tough finish like this, this event. That's it. I need to accept [that] and recover well mentally and physically from that."
Nadal says that he had the same injury entering the 2009 US Open, but he continued to play through it, which caused more problems. He remembers it starting as a six or seven-millimetre strain, but after losing against Juan Martin del Potro 2-6, 2-6, 2-6 in the semi-finals, it was a 28-millimetre strain. That's why the Spaniard decided to withdraw from Paris, and he will now head home in an attempt to recover for the Nitto ATP Finals.
"I will do all that I can do and all that's mathematically possible to recover for it," Nadal said.
Canadian Denis Shapovalov advances to his first ATP Masters 1000 final. The #NextGenATP star will face World No. 1 Novak Djokovic for the title on Sunday. Djokovic leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 3-0, with each of those meetings coming this year.
"I hope it's nothing too serious. Hopefully he's back and healthy for London," Shapovalov said of Nadal. "I feel like he's had an amazing season, and it would be great to see him healthy and playing well in London. I think he can do really well there."
The battle for the year-end No. 1 ATP Ranking will come down to the Nitto ATP Finals. By reaching the Paris final, Djokovic is within 1,040 points of Nadal in the ATP Race To London, and he can pull to within 640 points of the Spaniard by lifting his 34th Masters 1000 trophy against Shapovalov.
While the battle for the coveted year-end No. 1 is still up for grabs, one thing is certain. Despite his withdrawal, Nadal will replace Djokovic as World No. 1 on Monday when he begins his 197th week in the top spot.
The year-end World No. 1 will be decided after the Nitto ATP Finals. Nadal is hoping to finish year-end No. 1 for a fifth time, which would tie Djokovic, Roger Federer and Jimmy Connors for the second-most all-time. If Djokovic achieves the feat, it will be for the record-tying sixth time. Only Pete Sampras has previously finished year-end No. 1 six times.
"I really hope it's nothing too big, and the doctors believe that it's nothing too big," Nadal said.