Carlos Moya is confident Rafael Nadal will be ready for a Monday start at the Nitto ATP Finals as his charge continues to recover from an abdominal injury sustained in Paris last week.
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Nadal’s participation at the season-ending championships in London was under some doubt after he was forced to withdraw from the Rolex Paris Masters and head home to Mallorca.
However, the 19-time Grand Slam champion has arrived in London and has already engaged in some light hitting at the O2 Arena.
“We arrived yesterday in London and trained at Queen’s,” Moya said. “Today was our first practice session at The O2 and it went well. We’re going step by step. We’re cautious but we also know that we have four days ahead of us.
“Today was the first time that Rafa has served since we left Paris. He didn’t put a lot of power today. His evolution is going fine. He should be ready to compete on Monday.”
Nadal could have secured the year-end No. 1 ranking had he won the Paris Masters title last week, but after Djokovic triumphed instead, he finds himself 640 ranking points ahead of the Serbian heading into the ATP Finals.
Landing in Group Andre Agassi with Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and defending champion Alexander Zverev, Nadal can wrap up the year-end No. 1 ranking by advancing to the final without losing a match.
However, if Nadal loses during the round robin stage, Djokovic will have the opportunity to reclaim the No. 1 ranking.
Djokovic headlines Group Bjorn Borg alongside Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem and Matteo Berrettini. The reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon champion is looking to equal Pete Sampras’ record mark of finishing the year No. 1 on six occasions.
Nadal is aiming to join Djokovic, Federer and Jimmy Connors with five year-end No. 1 finishes.
Nadal’s doctor also confirmed that he hasn’t torn his abdominal region and will most likely be ready for he start of the ATP Finals.
“He will follow a specific treatment in this region. “We will look at the way it evolves and then, as soon as he can, start to re-adjust to serving. So he can start at the Masters Cup [Tour Finals] in good condition.”