Rafael Nadal was minutes away from stepping onto the court to face Denis Shapovalov for a place in the Paris Masters final when he was forced to make a last-minute withdrawal from the tournament due to an abdominal strain. The world #2 was understandably in a somber mood in his press conference as he announced he felt the injury whilst serving during his morning practice session.
“Today, in the morning, I had been practising well. And in one of the last serves of the warm-up, I felt something in the abdominal. Immediately I came back to the doctor here to do the echography and to check with the doctor. And the doctor told me that we need to wait a little bit more. I went through that [pain] in the past, so that’s why the recommendation of the doctors have been to not play,’ Nadal said.
The 33-year-old will now head back to Mallorca for tests to see how serious the injury is, and whether he will be able to play at the ATP Finals in London.
“I have to be back home. I have to do what I have to do to check everything right. Not today. Not tomorrow. It needs to wait a couple of hours. As I say before, to be sure and to have a clear image.”
“I really hope it’s nothing too big, and the doctors believe that it’s nothing too big. But of course, if it’s big enough to not be 100% recovered for in one week, it’s a chance. Hopefully is less than this.”
When asked about whether he will be able to recover quickly and be in London in just over a week’s time, Nadal said, “I will do all what I can do and all what’s mathematically possible to recover for it.”
Shapovalov Reaches Paris Final
With Nadal’s withdrawal, Shapovalov will now play the outgoing world #1 Novak Djokovic in the Paris final. Although the Canadian would surely have wanted to reach this milestone under different circumstances, the young gun is finishing the season in fine fashion having won his first title recently in Stockholm. The Serb too reached a milestone this week at the Paris Masters, with this set to be his 50th final at this level. In the semifinals, he beat Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets and will be vying for his 33rd Masters title when he steps on court to play Shapovalov tomorrow afternoon.
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