Rafael Nadal will now almost certainly finish the calendar year as world number one following Roger Federer’s decision to pull out of the Paris Masters.
The 36-year-old decided to sit out the tournament following his victory over Juan Martin del Potro in the final of the Swiss Indoors in the city of Basel.
There are still 2,500 points left to play for this season and with the 36-year-old in seriously good form, few would have bet against him being world number one by the end of the year.
However, following that victory in Basel, Swiss legend Federer announced that he would not take part in Paris as he needed a break, effectively handing Nadal the top spot.
“My body is asking for a break,” the 36-year-old said.
“Basel takes a lot out of me emotionally. I had five matches in six days.
“I feel sorry and sad for Paris. I love to play at Bercy, it’s a few times now that I’ve not played there.
“It’s a tough one but they have to understand that it’s for the cause of staying injury-free and healthy.
“I’d like to be fully fit for London and for 2018.”
Director of the Paris Masters Guy Forget was said to be furious with Federer, telling French sports newspaper L’Equipe: “You imagine my disappointment, my frustration [at Federer’s decision to withdraw]. I had his agent [Tony Godsick] on the phone who told me of his wish to recover because he is at the end of the roll.”
“We take note of it.
“We have no other recourse against that. We are sad about all the efforts that have been made for many weeks and many months to welcome Roger and Rafa into this room.
“Unfortunately, Rafa will be alone. There are other great champions, but I am convinced that Roger’s Parisian fans will be very disappointed.
“The tennis player, by definition, looks at his own interest, what interests him, what interests him less and has to make choices.
“At 36, we pay more attention than when we have 25. Nevertheless, I still think that the Masters 1000 are the nine biggest tournaments of the calendar.”
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