ROLEX PARIS MASTERS From 29 October to 6 November, 2022
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Rafa Nadal has had to pull out of the Rolex Paris Masters with an abdominal injury

Rafael Nadal was left dismayed and frustrated to be forced to pull out of the Rolex Paris Masters on Wednesday with an abdominal injury.

The Spanish great had been due to make his return to the court today against Fernando Verdasco for the first time since a problem with his right knee forced him to retire from the US Open semi-final with Juan Martin Del Potro.

But a new problem with his abdominals, which has been causing pain every time he serves has forced him to admit defeat, meaning that he will now also have to hand over his world No.1 ranking to Novak Djokovic.

A sad but philosophical Nadal told a press conference this afternoon: “I arrived here a couple of days ago. As everybody knows I have been outside of the competition since the US Open. So I took time off, came back and it  was great to be here in Paris for a couple of days and practice with the guys. I enjoyed it. I feel, in terms of tennis better than what I really thought one week ago.

“But in the last few days, I start to feel a little bit the abdominal, especially when I was serving. And I was checking with the doctor and the doctor says that is recommended to not play, because if I continue the abdominal maybe can break and can be a major thing, and I really don't want that.

“It has been a tough year for me since that moment in terms of injuries so I want to avoid drastic things. And if maybe I can play today, but the doctor says if I want to play the tournament, I want to try to win the tournament, the abdominal will break for sure. So will be not fair and not good for me and for nobody to go inside the court, knowing that probably the full tournament will not be possible to play.

“So that's it. Of course I am not happy, but of course I have to accept and stay positive.”

Nadal, who said he did not know whether he would be fit for the ATP finals in London, added: “I don't like to be injured. I don't like this bad news, of course. And I hate to be here and have to pull out from the event. Especially here in this city.

“But I tried until the last moment. I was checking with the doctor until one hour ago. I think I did all the things that have been in my hands to play here. I tried.”

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