Spain’s Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the Paris Bercy tennis tournament, one of the 1,000-point Masters, ahead of fellow Fernando Verdasco in the second round, ensuring Novak Djokovic’s return to top spot.
“The abdominal muscles have not been good in the last few days, especially when I’m sending in. The doctors have recommended not playing,” Nadal said in a press conference.
And added just minutes before the date of the confrontation with Verdasco “It was a difficult year for me in terms of injuries, so I prefer not to do harmful things, It will not be good for me or anyone else to go back to the field with my knowledge that it will not be possible to play as best I can.”
The Paris tournament is the first participation for Nadal since he withdrew because of a knee injury in the last four major championships in Flushing Meadows in the United States last September.
Nadal’s departure paves the way for Djokovic to regain the lead for the first time in two years. In Paris, he needed one more role than Nadal, which was achieved yesterday when he passed the second round.
Djokovic has achieved remarkable results in recent months and has been crowned since July in two major championships (Wimbledon English and Flushing Meadows), increasing his ambition to regain first place globally, especially as the difference between them reduced to 215 points.
In statements that preceded his participation in the French tournament, which was crowned four times (2009, 2013, 2014 and 2015), Djokovic reiterated his desire to return to the top for the first time since October 2016.
“What I have achieved in recent months and the injury of Nadal makes me in position to compete for the first place in the rankings at the end of the year, I will do everything in my power to achieve this goal,” Djokovic said.
Having achieved his ambition to regain the lead in the new rankings on Monday, Djokovic will proceed from 22nd place in June 2018 to first place in a season and become the first player to achieve this since Russian Marat Safin in 2000.
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