Nadal out of ATP Finals with abdominal injury, ankle surgery

Rafael Nadal and Djokovic should not play in Saudi Arabia says Navratilova

Rafael Nadal and Djokovic should not play in Saudi Arabia says Navratilova

Rafael Nadal is to undergo ankle surgery after revealing he is out of the ATP Finals in London because of injury.

John Isner replaces Nadal in the ATP Finals field.

"Unfortunately I had the abdominal problem in Paris last week and I also have an issue in the ankle joint that has to be removed in the operating room today", the 17-times Grand Slam victor wrote on Twitter. "I couldn't be happier to end the season like this, to win against Novak Djokovic, the number one in the world".

The Serb is back on the top of the pile for the first time in two years, at the end of a roller-coaster season for the 14-time major victor.

When Nadal withdrew in Paris he said that it was a new injury and not directly related to the knee issues that have forced him to the sidelines since early September.

Because Nadal's season is over, Djokovic is assured of finishing the year atop the ATP rankings for the fifth time.

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"Reflecting on what I've been through in the past year, it's quite a phenomenal achievement", said Djokovic. He had surgery on his right ankle Monday. "It was a hard year, very good at the tennis level when I was able to play and at the same time very bad in terms of injuries".

The other three players should battle until the very last game to determine the second semi-finals and the door are wide open after an injury that Zverev suffered in Paris, winning just three games against the eventual champion Karen Khachanov.

It is a common occurrence at this time of year for Nadal to be suffering physically.

"What Novak has achieved this season has to go down as one of the great sporting comebacks".

"He fully deserves his return to No.1 in the ATP Rankings and should be incredibly proud of his exceptional season".

The 22-year-old beat Djokovic 7-5 6-4 in one hour and 37 minutes to end the Serb's 22-match unbeaten run.

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