Former World No. 1 Rafael Nadal will miss the ATP Finals in London next week as he prepares to have an ankle injury that prompted him to withdraw from the Paris Masters last month. As a result, American John Isner will join the tournament as the eighth player in the eight-man tournament.
The Spaniard suffered the injury at the US Opens in September and had planned to complete the remaining part of the ATP tour before getting surgery. On Monday, the 32-year-old pulled out of the oncoming London citing an abdominal problem.
“It has been a complicated year, very good at the tennis level when I was able to play and at the same time very bad as far as injuries are concerned,” Nadal said. “Unfortunately, I had the abdominal problem in Paris last week.”
He reasserted he could’ve completed the season with the injury but took the opportunity to get operated on after the abdominal problem arose.
“In addition, I have a free body ankle joint that has to be removed in the operating room today. It is true that we had detected it for a long time and from time to time it bothered me. However, since the problem in the abdominal muscle also prevents me from playing in London, we take advantage of the moment to remove the free body and avoid future problems. This way I hope to be in full condition for the next season.”
Following Nadal’s withdrawal, Novak Djokovic becomes the World No. 1 and will complete the season at that position for the fifth time in his career. The Serbian ties Roger Federer and Jimmy Connors and only one position behind Pete Sampras.