Roger Federer has withdrawn from the Paris Masters to hand Rafael Nadal the chance to seal the world No. 1 spot before the pair head to London.
The 36-year-old lifted an eighth title at the Swiss Indoors in Basel on Sunday to move within just 1,460 points of the Spaniard in the ATP rankings.
With 2,500 points left to play for and Federer in such terrific form, the world N9. 2 had the opportunity to rise above his long-time rival to climb to the summit of men’s tennis for the first time since 2012.
However, the 19-time Grand Slam champion has again put his long-term health above his short-term goals and withdrawn from the final Masters 1000 event of the year.
‘My body is asking for a break,’ Federer said. ‘Basel takes a lot out of me emotionally. I had five matches in six days.
‘I feel sorry and sad for Paris. I love to play at Bercy, it’s a few times now that I’ve not played there.
‘It’s a tough one but they have to understand that it’s for the cause of staying injury-free and healthy.
‘Id like to be fully fit for London and for 2018.’
It’s not the first time this year that Federer has chosen to skip events for his health, with the Swiss cutting the entire clay-court season from his schedule in order to fully prepare for the build-up to Wimbledon on grass.
Nadal now has the opportunity to seal the year-end world No. 1 spit for the first time since 2013 should he win his opening match in Paris.
The Spaniard will face either Mischa Zverev or Hyeon Chung in the second round.
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