Spaniard hands chance to Roger Federer to close on him at top of the rankings as world no 1 admits knee is over-stressed
RAFA NADAL’S place in the World Tour finals in London is in doubt after he pulled out of the Swiss Indoors Basel tournament with a knee injury.
The world No 1 has handed his big rival Roger Federer the chance to close on him at the top as the Spaniard admitted: “It is time for some rest.”
Nadal, 31, returned to the summit in August for the first time since 2014 after six tournament wins this season.
But he said he was carrying the injury when well beaten by Federer 6-4 6-3 in Sunday’s Shanghai Masters final.
Now the Spaniard’s main target will surely be to make the ATP finals at London’s O2 Arena in mid-November.
Nadal has been plagued by knee and wrist injuries for the past three years but has looked much fresher and fitter this season.
But he has seen the way 36-year-old Federer has managed his health, mainly by taking a long time away from the game.
And Nadal is determined not to undermine his own comeback by playing too much, having contested 75 matches already this season.
He won the US and China Opens in recent weeks before enjoying a fine Shanghai tournament – until dipping in the final.
Nadal said tonight: “I am suffering from an over stressing of the knee and the problems where already present at the tournament in Shanghai which now forces me to take a time off on advice of my doctor.
“After two great weeks in China, with the title in Beijing and the final in Shanghai it is time for some rest.
“I want to send a special message to the many tennis fans in Switzerland which have always showed great support and respect also on my matches with Roger.
“Hope to see you next year.”
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