Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Paris Masters due to injury, which means Novak Djokovic will become world No 1 when the new ATP rankings are announced on Monday.
The tournament’s organisers announced on Wednesday that Nadal had pulled out because of an abdominal strain. In an official statement, posted on Twitter, which read: “Rafael Nadal has withdrawn and will be replaced by Malek Jaziri, who will face Fernando Verdasco in the last match of the daytime session.”
At a press conference the same day, Nadal said: “I arrived here a couple of days ago, as everyone knows I have been outside of the competition since the US Open. I took time off, I came back and it was great to be in Paris for a couple of days and practise with the guys.
“I enjoyed it, I feel, in terms of tennis, better than what I thought one week ago, but in the last few days, I started to feel a little bit abdominal pain, especially when serving. I checked with the doctor and the doctor recommended I did not play.”
The Spaniard needed to beat Verdasco to hold Djokovic at bay at the top of the rankings. Djokovic, who won the Wimbledon and US Open titles this year, will now return to the top spot for the first time after two years regardless of how far he goes in the Paris Masters. He reached the last 16 by defeating João Sousa on Tuesday.
Nadal’s participation in the ATP Tour Finals in London is now in question after his sudden withdrawal from the tournament.