Not want to risk injury following his title run in Basel, Roger Federer withdrew from this week’s Paris Masters. The decision means that Rafael Nadal needs to win just one match in either Paris or at the Nitto ATP Finals in London to clinch the year-end No. 1 ranking.
Federer went three sets in two of his five matches at Basel, including against Juan Martin del Potro in the final.
"Winning like that gives it a special flavor," Federer told local press following his eighth title in his hometown. "It's always a dream to win here."
But the world No. 2 added that the week had been tiring, and he was concerned about injury if he played Basel and Paris back-to-back, just two weeks before the season-ending championship. Federer has played a limited schedule since undergoing knee surgery and not playing the second half of the season in 2016. In total, Federer has played 11 tournaments in 2017, and skipped the entire clay-court season.
"I played five matches in six days. I now need to rest," said Federer. "Playing Paris-Bercy following Basel before the London Masters would not be reasonable.
“You know, I'm always recalling 2016—a tough year, because I could not play for eight months. Having had a week like this [in Basel], I need to 'calm' myself."
Federer added Montreal to his schedule during the hard-court season in an attempt to push for No. 1, but he injured his back, withdrawing from Cincinnati shortly before the US Open, where he lost in the quarterfinals.
The 19-time Grand Slam champion has won seven tournaments this season, including two majors, but still trails Nadal in the rankings by a substantial margin.
But even though he is not playing Paris, "it should not be assumed I'm not interested in the No. 1 ranking anymore," Federer said.
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