Novak Djokovic through to Paris Masters final as Rafael Nadal pulls out injured
Djokovic to face Canada's Denis Shapovalov in Sunday's showpiece at Bercy
Last Updated: 02/11/19 7:34pm
Novak Djokovic reached the Paris Masters final for the sixth time but Rafael Nadal pulled out injured on Saturday.
Djokovic defeated Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 before learning that his rival for the year-end world No 1 Rafael Nadal withdrew injured from his semi-final with an abdominal strain on Saturday.
The Spaniard said he felt the injury flare up in the morning as he practised before facing Canadian hard-hitter Denis Shapovalov.
A scan revealed a small strain and although Nadal returned to practice, he still felt pain serving before calling it quits.
Rafa back at No 1
Despite his withdrawal, Nadal will replace Djokovic as world No 1 on Monday when he begins his 197th week in the top spot.
"We can call it unlucky, we can call it different things, but it happened today," Nadal told the official ATP Tour website.
"And when things happen, the only thing that you can do is accept it. And even if it's a tough situation for me, I need to stay positive.
"It's tough to finish like this, this event. But I need to accept [that] and recover well mentally and physically from that."
Last year, Nadal missed the season-ending ATP Finals in London because of the abdominal injury, but hopes he can recover in time for this year's finals starting on November 10.
"I hope to be ready for London. That's the biggest goal right now," he said. "I will do all that I can do and all that's mathematically possible to recover for it."
In a first set dominated by serve, neither Djokovic nor Dimitrov was able to earn a break point en route to the tie-break.
Djokovic recovered from 5-3 down to win the tie-break and then claimed the only break of the match at 2-2 in the second set.
"He was probably the better player in the tie-break," Djokovic said. "But I managed to get returns into play and just make him play an extra shot.
"We both really understood the importance of clinching the first set, so we could feel a bit more relaxed in the second and start swinging through."