Nadal withdraws from ATP Finals and will have surgery on his ankle

Mae Harvey
November 8, 2018

Boris Becker believes the draw for the ATP Finals gives Roger Federer a big advantage over Novak Djokovic in next week's tournament in London.

And Nadal was not able to recover to play the season-ending ATP Finals, opting to undergo surgery on a long-standing ankle problem in order to rehabilitate before 2019.

Because Nadal's season is over, Djokovic is assured of finishing the year atop the ATP rankings for the fifth time.

"Unfortunately, I had abdominal problem in Paris last week and also required an operation on an ankle injury".

"This way I hope to be in full condition for the next season", he said, and thanked his supporters.

'I would reckon the Novak Djokovic group is the tougher one, ' said the German, who coached Djokovic for three years.

It means that Novak Djokovic, who returned to top spot in the world rankings today, is now guaranteed to end the year as number one as neither the injured Nadal nor Roger Federer, who is too far behind, can catch him. "And, of course, I'm very, very happy and proud about it".

American Isner, the lowest seed in the eight-player tournament, was confirmed as the Spaniard's replacement. The world No. 2 has not played since retiring from his U.S. Open semifinal showdown against Juan Martin Del Potro because of a knee issue. But one of the least satisfying numbers, from the perspective of British tennis fans, will be his history of non-attendance at the ATP Finals. Djokovic has won four titles since July with two being Grand Slams - the Wimbledon and the US Open - and other two Masters Series events in Cincinnati and Shanghai.

Djokovic's dominant run ended on Sunday when he was beaten 7-5, 6-4 by Russian Kharen Khachanov in the Paris Masters final.

Dominic Thiem has also had a great season, reaching his first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros and improving a lot on hard courts with a first indoor title in St. Petersburg.

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