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Nadal has surgery after ATP Finals withdrawal


Frustrating time: Rafael Nadal has ended the season injured
Frustrating time: Rafael Nadal has ended the season injured

By Damien Spellman

Rafael Nadal has undergone surgery after he revealed he is out of the ATP Finals in London because of injury.

The Spaniard pulled out of the Paris Masters with an abdominal injury and, after failing to recover in time, has now withdrawn from next week's event.

He was scheduled to have a procedure to remove a floating body from his ankle yesterday in a bid to be fit for the start of the new season.

In a post on his official Facebook page, Nadal said: "It has been a complicated year, very good at the tennis level when I was able to play, and at the same time very bad as far as injuries are concerned.

"I have done everything possible to reach the end of the season in good condition, both in Paris and London, doing things well and I really wanted to play.

"Unfortunately, I had the abdominal problem in Paris last week and, in addition, I have a free body in the ankle joint that has to be removed in the operating room.

"It is true that we had detected it for a long time and from time to time it bothered me. However, since the problem in the abdominal muscle also prevents me from playing in London, we will take advantage of the moment to remove the free body and avoid future problems.

"In this way I hope to be in full condition for the next season."

Nadal's withdrawal in Paris allowed Novak Djokovic to replace him at the top of the world rankings.

Djokovic has been drawn against Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic and John Isner in the group stages.

Djokovic is at the top of the rankings for the first time in two years

Isner, the lowest seed in the eight-player tournament, was a late replacement for Nadal.

Six-time champion Roger Federer will be seeking his first victory at this event since 2011 and he will have to fight against the Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson, Dominic Thiem and Kei Nishikori in order to reach the semis.

Federer won his ninth Basel title a few weeks ago despite not playing at his best and he competed in a great match against Djokovic in the Paris Masters semi-final, which lasted for more than three hours.

The Swiss will try to carry that form to London as well, and he will play against Anderson with an extra incentive after losing that epic Wimbledon match in July despite having a match point of his own.

Federer has lost several times against Nishikori on an indoor court, including twice at this event in 2014 and 2015, and will face Thiem indoors for the first time, determined to beat the Austrian who scored wins in their previous two encounters.

The ATP Finals begin at London's O2 Arena on November 11.

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