Nadal to skip tournaments in Asia because of bad knee

Karen Khachanov 'I believed I could beat Rafael Nadal'

Karen Khachanov 'I believed I could beat Rafael Nadal'

The 32-year-old, who won the China Open and was a runner-up to Roger Federer in Shanghai in 2017, has struggled with tendinitis throughout his career and has decided in conjunction with his team to extend his time away from the court.

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Asian leg of the ATP Tour as he continues to recover from a knee injury sustained at the US Open.

'Hello everyone, as you know I had to retire in the semi-finals of the US Open and have been in Barcelona with doctors assessing the situation of my knee, ' Nadal tweeted.

Nadal now leads the way with 8,760 points, 1,860 ahead of Roger Federer - who is limiting the number of tournaments he plays in - and 2,315 clear of Djokovic.

That would set up an exciting end to the campaign where Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have it all to play for at the Paris Masters and ATP World Tour Final - of which none of the trio are defending champions.

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The 17-time Grand Slam champion had to pull out during his semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro in NY and also missed Spain's Davis Cup defeat by France last weekend.

Nadal is sure to drop hundreds of ranking points due to his absence, while Djokovic will only gain after his own struggles this time past year.

"I am very sorry I won't be able to be with all my fans in China as well as the tournament organisers who have always been so supportive with me and my team". The Argentine was leading 7-6, 6-2 when Nadal decided the pain in his right knee was too much and shook hands.

But Djokovic is now primed to snatch Nadal's No. 1 ranking after a magnificent summer saw him win at Wimbledon and defeat del Potro in the US Open final.

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