Novak Djokovic says that he is ‘sad’ to see Rafael Nadal injured, even though it could hand him a big advantage in the race to be year-end world number one.
Nadal was injured in the warm-up before his scheduled Paris Masters semi-final against Denis Shapovalov on Saturday.
The injury has been described as ‘a small abdominal strain,’ but it Nadal admits he now faces a race against time to make it to the crucial ATP Finals at the O2.
Djokovic, though, insists he wants Nadal to make it to London – so he can win it properly.
“I’m sad to see that he’s injured because that’s not what you want to see, not for Rafa, not for any other athlete.
“I know how that feels. Obviously I went through major injuries in my life as well.
“I hope he can recover and compete in London. Because with or without him, obviously, also the battle for No. 1 but also the tournament itself is different.
“He’s a great champion and obviously lots of respect for him.”
Should Nadal fail to make it to London, Djokovic would be the strong favourite to win the ATP Finals and be crowned year-end world number one.
However, He is not taking anything for granted, Nadal or no Nadal.
“It’s not possible for me now to assume anything,” Djokovic added. “It is not a reality.
“I have to wait and see what happens in London, to see if I can reach that goal.
“It wouldn’t be correct to presume with regard to Nadal and the others.”
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Novak Djokovic has his say.
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Episode 156 for the Adria Tour drama.
A mouthful from Dominic Thiem.