Paris, Nov 1: World No.1 Spain's Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the Paris Masters, citing abdominal injury.
The 32-year-old withdrew ahead of his first match at the ongoing tournament on Wednesday, meaning that Novak Djokovic of Serbia will return to the top of the ATP Rankings in men singles on 5 November.
Nadal has not competed since retiring with a knee injury against Juan Martin del Potro in the US Open semi-finals on 7 September.
The Serb will lead the ATP Rankings in men singles for the first time in two years, with Briton Andy Murray having taken the top honour from him in Paris in November 2016.
Djokovic all set to become the first player to be ranked outside the top-20 then climb to No 1 in the same season in 18 years- Marat Safin of Russia was at No 38 on February 28, 2000, climbing No 1 spot on November 20, same year.
Speaking on his injury in a press conference on Wednesday, Nadal said, 'I checked with the doctor and he said that he recommended to not play, because if I continued the abdominal may break and could become a major thing. And I really don't want that.'
Talking about his chances of playing in the season-ending ATP Finals in London in November, he said, 'I would love to be in London, of course,' added that the most important thing for me is to be healthy and have the chance to compete weeks in a row.
Earlier on Wednesday, World number three Switzerland's Roger Federer made it through to the last 16 without playing when Milos Raonic pulled out with an elbow injury.
The record 20-time Grand Slam winner Federer, who won his 99th career title at the Swiss Indoors last Sunday, will next face 13th-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy.UNI