Spanish player, Rafael Nadal could be the next World No.1 if he manages to win his first match at the Paris Masters. The match, which will take place this week, will decide his fate. However, reports state that Nadal’s path to the crown is now wide open since Roger Federer has withdrawn from the tournament.
Nadal and Federer both clocked brilliant seasons in the year with two Grand Slam titles apiece. However, Federer was tipped to be the overall winner until he pulled out of the final event of the regular season.
Sources state that the tennis star is attempting to protect a back problem. Federer, stated that winning his eighth Swiss Indoors title against Martin del Potro had left him unfit to move on.
Speaking to the media after the match, the Swiss player stated, “I am very sorry to have to pull out of the Paris Masters but my body needs a rest after Basel.”
Showing tremendous restraint, Federer explained that he had played a great deal of tennis over the course of the year. He stated that he needed to look after his physical health if he wanted “to continue to compete at the highest level for years to come”.
He added that he would “love” to play at Bercy since he has missed the opportunity to play there a few times. However, he said that it was more important to be “fully fit” for London and for 2018.
Federer’s unfortunate injury comes at the perfect time for competitor Rafael Nadal. Nadal claimed his 10th French Open title and a U.S. Open crown to up his Grand Slam tally to a whopping 16 for the current year.
If the Spaniard manages to win his first match at the Paris Masters, he secures his spot as World No. 1 for the upcoming year. His match is chalked to be against either German Mischa Zverev or the South Korean Hyeon Chung.
Although Nadal is popularly known to be the master of clay, he is yet to win the Paris Masters. This is his sixth attempt at the indoor tournament and the stakes have never been higher.
In the past, his best effort would be the defeat against David Nalbandian which took place in 2007.