Top seed Rafael Nadal withdrew from the Paris Masters shortly before his opening match against fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco on Wednesday, meaning he will lose the ATP No.1 ranking to Novak Djokovic.
Spaniard Nadal, who has not played since retiring injured in the US Open semifinals in September, cited an abdominal injury.
The 32-year-old needed to beat Verdasco to hold Djokovic at bay but the Serb will now return to the No.1 spot regardless of how far he goes in Paris.
Djokovic, who returned to form by winning Wimbledon and US Open titles this year, reached the last-16 in Paris by defeating Joao Sousa on Tuesday.
With Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal from #RolexParisMasters, @DjokerNole will be No. 1 in #ATP Rankings on Monday. Djokovic is 1st player to be ranked outside Top 20 then No. 1 in same season since Marat Safin in 2000. Djokovic was as low as No. 22 in 2018 (Safin was No. 38 in 2000).
— ATP Media Info (@ATPMediaInfo) October 31, 2018
Nadal’s withdrawal could put his participation at the ATP Tour Finals in London in doubt.
Federer has returned to Bercy event after a three-year absence, and is chasing his 100th career title after claiming the Swiss Indoors crown last week.