The ATP said Friday that Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from next week’s Shanghai Masters due to a left hand injury.
Nadal is a two-time finalist in Shanghai — 2009 and 2017 — and was looking to extend an 11-match winning streak. He pulled out of his final match at the Laver Cup with a left wrist injury two weeks ago.
He has also won 28 of his last 29 matches, a run that contains his fourth U.S. Open title and 12th Roland Garros championship in addition to Masters 1000 crowns in Montreal and Rome.
Defending Shanghai champion Novak Djokovic will have a chance to close the gap on Nadal in the battle to finish as the year-end No. 1.
Djokovic trails Nadal by 1,960 points in the ATP Race to London. Djokovic could earn 500 points if he wins the Tokyo title this weekend and another 1,000 points by winning Shanghai.
Nadal said on shanghairolexmasters.com: ‘I am very sad to announce that I won’t be able to play in Shanghai this year.
‘As you all probably know, I had an inflammation on my left wrist during the Laver Cup and I haven’t had the time to recover and practice to be ready for this amazing event. ‘I hope to be back in Shanghai for the 2020 tournament.’
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The injury is in many ways timely given Nadal’s wedding to his long-time girlfriend Maria Francisca Perello is later this month.
And at the time he said: ““It is not my wrist by the way, it is my hand.
“My hand is a little bit inflamed. After New York I had a little bit of an issue probably after the final.
“I felt a little bit, the first day here, then a little bit more every day.”
However it is not all doom and gloom for the Spaniard as he can still return to the top of the world rankings next week.
Nadal is 640 points behind Djokovic in the standings but the world No 1 is the defending champion in Shanghai.
That means the Serbian needs to win the title again to retain 1000 points so an early loss could see him drop to second.
He is scheduled to return to action at the Paris Masters beginning on October 28.
The Spaniard has never won the Shanghai Masters but reached the final twice, in 2009 and 2017.
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