World number 1 Rafael Nadal is still struggling with a right knee injury that forced him to retire against Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-final of the US Open and from the last week's Davis Cup World Group semi-final against France, announcing that he will skip the ATP 500 event in Beijing and Masters 1000 in Shanghai in order to recover from the injury and prepare himself for the last events of the season. Rafa had started to feel the problems in the opening set against the Argentinian and suffering a small tear in his patella tendon that made his retiring after the second set.
Rafa was the defending champion in New York but he failed to repeat the last year's run, struggling in back-to-back matches against Karen Khachanov, Nikoloz Basilashvili and Dominic Thiem (this match alone lasted for almost five hours) and not being able to finish the semi-final clash despite a great effort in the opening set against the Argentinian.
After visiting the doctor in Barcelona, Rafa decided to skip the Asian swing where he won 1100 points 12 months ago after lifting the trophy in Beijing and finishing runner-up in Shanghai and this means that Novak Djokovic is the favorite to finish the season as the year-end number 1 despite winning just six matches prior to Rome!
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As you know, I had to retire in the semi-final of the US Open and this Monday I went to Barcelona to see the doctors and find out more about the state of my knee. It still causes me troubles and I had decided together with my medical and technical team not to participate in the Asian Tour in order to recover the knee the way we have always done in the past.
I'm sorry for not being able to be with so many fans in China and with the organizers of the Beijing and Shanghai tournaments that have always been nice to me and my team."