PARIS (AP) - Top-ranked Rafael Nadal said Monday the shoulder injury that forced him out of the Paris Masters won’t prevent him from playing at the ATP World Tour finals later this month.
Nadal told a news conference he has a small case of tendinitis in his left shoulder and that he withdrew from the final Masters tournament of the season to avoid risking a serious injury before the London event and next year’s Australian Open.
Nadal said he will need one week of full training to be ready for the ATP Finals, which run from Nov. 21-28.
“I’m fine. I went to the doctor and he told me the injury could worsen if I was playing,” Nadal said. “This is the end of the season and all those matches took a toll on my shoulder.”
After winning the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open this season, Nadal is guaranteed to finish the year at No. 1. He has played in 33 of the past 35 Masters 1000 tournaments.
“It’s disappointing not to be able to play here,” said Nadal, who reached the finals in Paris three years ago. “It’s the last Masters 1000 of the year and for sure one of my favorites in the world. It was not an easy decision but I played all others Masters 1000 and all Grand Slams this season.”
The Spaniard added he is determined to “play well in London on the most difficult surface for me, where it will be difficult for me to win.”
Nadal was eliminated in the round robin phase at last year’s ATP Finals after losing his three matches without winning a single set.
“I will have a special motivation, and I’m going to give everything I can to play well here,” Nadal said. “I want to improve the image of last year. I’ll try to win.”
Nadal, who has not played since a third-round defeat to Jurgen Melzer at the Shanghai Masters on Oct. 14, recently said he was feeling some fatigue from his successful season. But the 24-year-oold doesn’t think changing his schedule would improve things.
“Playing less is almost impossible if you want to stay on top,” Nadal said. “After that, I think you can change a few things, but not many. It worked well for me in 2010 and I will more or less try to stick to the same program next year.”