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Nadal In London Preparing For The NITTO ATP World Tour Finals, Coach Moya Reports He Is Ready

Photo by @RafaelNadal via Twitter



Nadal in London preparing for World Tour Finals, coach Moya reports he is ready


By Ricky Dimon


Rafael Nadal pulled out of last week’s Rolex Paris Masters prior to his scheduled quarterfinal contest with Filip Krajinovic because of a right-knee issue. The world No. 1 was clearly hobbled during a third-round win over Pablo Cuevas and there remain concerns that he will be unable to play in next week’s Nitto World Tour Finals.


But there are some reasons for optimism. The world No. 1 practiced in London on Thursday and posted a photo on Instagram with the caption “In London, practicing for the Masters” with a winking emoji face. Coach Carlos Moya also said that Nadal is good to go.


“Rafa is fine; the knee is okay,” Moya commented. “He stopped just to take no risks. Rafa will be competitive in London because it’s the only big tournament he hasn’t won.”


Nadal is a mediocre 16-12 lifetime at the year-end championship, including a 12-8 record in London (and 4-4 in two appearances when the tournament was held in Shanghai). The Spaniard has twice reached the final, falling to Roger Federer in 2010 and to Novak Djokovic in 2013. Due to injuries, Nadal played this event only twice in a five-year span from 2012 through 2016.


Even if Nadal does not play next week, he will finish the year at No. 1 in the world. He clinched it by beating Hyeon Chung in the Paris second round.


“I expected Rafa to be No. 1 again,” Moya noted. “I’m not surprised because I’ve seen him training as usual with lots of passion. His tennis and his mind has taken him to number one.”


Even if Nadal does play in London, Federer is the obvious favorite. Nadal may not be 100 percent and Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, and Milos Raonic are among those already on the sidelines due to physical problems. Wawrinka played enough this season to qualify for the World Tour Finals, but he was replaced by No. 9 Jack Sock–the recent Paris champion.


Nadal is in a group with Dominic Thiem, Grigor Dimitrov, and David Goffin. Wednesday’s draw ceremony placed Federer with Marin Cilic, Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic, and Sock.


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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