Rafael Nadal pulls out of London ATP Finals with 'abdominal problem'

I have abdominal pain every time I serve says Rafael Nadal

I have abdominal pain every time I serve says Rafael Nadal

Spain's Rafael Nadal during a press conference after withdrawing from the tournament.

Rafael Nadal will miss November's season-ending ATP Finals in London and have surgery on an ankle injury.

John Isner will take Nadal's place in the field ahead of Monday evening's draw, while the Spaniard's absence also ensures Novak Djokovic will finish the season as the year-end world No 1. It would not be fair and not good for me and for nobody to go inside the court knowing that probably the full tournament will not be possible to play'.

In a post on social media, 17-time Grand Slam champion Nadal wrote: "It has been a complicated year, very good at the tennis level when I was able to play, and at the same time very bad as far as injuries are concerned".

Nadal said on Twitter on Monday that he was still bothered by the stomach muscle issue that forced him to withdraw from last week's Paris Masters.

"Unfortunately I had the abdominal problem in Paris last week and I also have an issue in the ankle joint that has to be removed in the operating room today", the 17-times Grand Slam victor wrote on Twitter.

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The 32-year-old won a record-extending 11th French Open title in June and reached the semi-finals both at Wimbledon and the US Open.

"This way I hope to be in top condition for next season".

A few weeks later he beat Del Potro in the final to win the U.S. Open and last month claimed the Shanghai Masters title without dropping a set.

Djokovic finished runner-up at the Paris Masters after losing to Karan Khachanov on Sunday but still returned to number one in the rankings for the first time since 2016. "Five months ago, if you told me that, I would be - I always believe in myself, but it was highly improbable at that time considering my ranking and the way I played and felt on the court".

The Serb is back on the top of the pile for the first time in two years, at the end of a roller-coaster season for the 14-time major victor.

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