PARIS (AP) — Top-ranked Rafael Nadal is slated to make his comeback from a knee injury at the Paris Masters next week.
Organizers said the 17-time Grand Slam Champion arrived in Paris on Friday. The Spaniard has a bye to the second round in Paris, where he will face either countryman Fernando Verdasco or Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.
Nadal retired in the semifinals of the U.S. Open in early September with an injured right knee. He had dropped the opening two sets against Juan Martin del Potro when he retired. He then skipped the Asia swing to recover, missing tournaments in Beijing and Shanghai.
The 32-year-old Nadal could face defending Paris Masters champion Jack Sock in the third round, and potentially Borna Coric or Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals.
At last year's tournament, Nadal reached the quarterfinals after laboring past Pablo Cuevas but then pulled out against Serbian qualifier Filip Krajinovic. Nadal has dealt with off-and-on knee problems for years.
Nadal is fighting to keep his No. 1 ranking with Novak Djokovic closing in fast. Heading into Paris, Djokovic was only 215 points behind Nadal with no points to defend in Paris. Nadal has never won the indoor tournament.
Djokovic, who has won it a record four times — including three straight — also has a bye to the second round.
As does 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer. The third-seeded Federer, who is playing in the semifinals at the Swiss Indoors in Basel on Saturday, has yet to confirm whether he will play in Paris next week. He won the tournament in 2011.