‘It’s a tough situation for me’ – Rafael Nadal withdraws from Paris Masters with injury

Rafael Nadal disappointed at press conference

Rafael Nadal was forced to withdraw from the Paris Masters with injury before his semi-final against Denis Shapovalov, ending hopes of a potential final with Novak Djokovic and throwing his participation in the ATP Finals in London into doubt.

Shapovalov will play Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final after the world number one overcame Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (5) 6-4 in his last-four match.

Nadal said he made the decision not to play on the advice of on-site doctors, with the Spaniard saying he is likely to have suffered a small abdominal strain.

“We can call it unlucky, we can call it different things, but it happened today,” Nadal, who suffered the injury in the warm-up, told atptour.com.

“And when things happen, the only thing that you can do is accept it. And even if it’s a tough situation for me, I need to stay positive.

“It’s tough to finish like this, this event. But I need to accept (that) and recover well mentally and physically from that.

“I hope to be ready for London (ATP Finals). That’s the biggest goal right now.

“I will do all that I can do and all that’s mathematically possible to recover for it.”

Despite his withdrawal, Nadal will replace Djokovic as world number one on Monday when he begins his 197th week in the top spot.

Djokovic’s victory took him through to his sixth Paris final and his 50th ATP Masters 1000 championship match.

In a first set dominated by serve, neither Djokovic nor Dimitrov was able to earn a break point en route to the tie-break.

Djokovic recovered from 5-3 down to win the tie-break and then claimed the only break of the match at 2-2 in the second set.

“He was probably the better player in the tie-break,” Djokovic said.

“But I managed to get returns into play and just make him play an extra shot.

“We both really understood the importance of clinching the first set, so we could feel a bit more relaxed in the second and start swinging through.”

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