Rafael Nadal has announced his decision not to compete in the China Open in Beijing or the Shanghai Rolex Masters following growing concerns over a knee injury he suffered during the US Open, Tennis World reports. Nadal announced his decision in a string of tweets last Wednesday. It has been decided that he needs more time to recover before he returns to the court, especially considering his history with knee injuries.
Although Nadal holds the number one position in men’s tennis, his recent injury has presented new challenges for the star player. Nadal was forced to retire from his semi-finals match against Juan Martin del Potro, who is currently ranked fourth in the world, according to the ATP Standings. Nadal’s decision to abstain from the upcoming Asian tournaments means that he will not be able to defend his China Open title or contend again for the title in Shanghai.
Currently, Nadal possesses 8,760 points – 1,860 more points than Roger Federer, and 2,315 more than the number three player Novak Djokovic. Federer leads Djokovic by 455 points, according to ESPN. Federer, age 37, decided last year to reduce the number of times he would compete. While this certainly helped him remain fresh and win his 20th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, too much rest might leave him vulnerable to players like Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro in the upcoming tournaments.
Djokovic is also riding high with victories at the US Open, Cincinnati Masters and Wimbledon. Having missed the final six months of last season with an elbow injury, Djokovic looks to the Asian tournaments as a way to catch up with his competition, and move higher up in the ATP Standings.
Nadal will not be out of the fight for very long, however. According to ABC España, Toni Nadal, Rafael’s uncle and former coach, told reporters that his nephew aims to return for the European indoor hard-court season. Still, the 32-year-old will have to hit the ground running upon his return in order to reinforce his position as the best player in the world.
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