Rafael Nadal hopes to be fully fit for the ATP Finals in London
Last Updated: 08/11/19 4:09pm
World No 1 Rafael Nadal hopes to be fully fit for the ATP Finals in London, saying he has "good hopes to be 100 per cent ready" for his opening match.
The Spaniard was forced to pull out of the Paris Masters last weekend after suffering an abdominal injury and has been in a race against time to recover.
Nadal does not play his first match until Monday night, when he takes on defending champion Alexander Zverev in Group Andre Agassi.
Did you know...
Since 2011, only once (2015) have the ATP Finals had a fully fit field, i.e no top eight players withdrawing pre or mid-event due to injury.
Speaking at the O2 Arena, he said: "I need to go day by day. I'm happy to be here because after last Saturday in Paris I didn't know if I would have the chance to be here.
"So I'm excited to be here after a couple of years without being able to play. I need to see how things evolve every single day. I have good hopes to be 100 per cent ready for Monday."
Nadal had been unable to serve because of the injury but said: "I started yesterday, very slow.
It's a tournament that you will face the top guys since the beginning so you need to be 100 per cent ready
"I have been serving very well in Bercy (Paris), I had good matches, so I am confident that I can be very competitive but of course it's a tournament that you will face the top guys since the beginning so you need to be 100 per cent ready.
"But I really hope I will be able to serve every single day a little better and my hope is to be on Sunday serving normal."
He insisted he is not thinking about the Davis Cup finals, which begins on November 18, but he will surely not want to miss the chance to compete in Madrid.
Another factor is the race to finish the year as world No 1. Nadal overtook Novak Djokovic on Monday but needs either to reach the semi-finals with three group wins or lift the trophy to guarantee holding on to it.
The US Open champion said: "Of course I would love to be the year-end number one but I always said it was not my personal goal because I did not follow that [path].
"If I did I would be flying to China after New York because I was in a positive position. But that doesn't mean I am renouncing to try to be number one. Not at all. I am fighting for it."
The clash between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer is likely to be the highlight of the group stage, and it will be a first meeting since their dramatic Wimbledon final in July.
"I'm very excited to play against Novak again here, happy to be in his group," said Federer. "Wimbledon was epic. That was a special match for both of us, maybe a bit more for him but that's OK, I moved on a long time ago."