Novak Djokovic will regain the No 1 spot on the ATP World Tour rankings after current world No 1 Rafael Nadal pulled out of the Paris Masters due to injury.
Announcing his withdrawal, Nadal said: ‘My abdominal muscles haven’t felt good for the past few days, especially on serve. Doctors recommended that I didn’t play.’
Djokovic knew that he would regain the top spot he relinquished two years ago if he bettered Nadal’s performance at the event he has won four times.
Djokovic becomes the first player to start the season outside the top 20 and end top of the ATP rankings since Marat Safin in 2000.
For Nadal, it means delaying his long-awaited comeback from injury which has kept him sidelined since the US Open.
‘It’s been a difficult year for me in terms of injuries, and so I’d prefer to avoid doing anything drastic,’ he told the media minutes before his intended match against compatriot Fernando Verdasco.
‘It wouldn’t have been good for me nor anyone to return to the court knowing that I wouldn’t be able to play my best.’