World number one Rafael Nadal has been forced to withdraw from the upcoming Asian Swing due to his ongoing knee issue.
The Spaniard limped out of his semi-final at the US Open against Juan Martin Del Potro after receiving multiple on-court treatments for his ailing knee and being down two sets to love.
Last year, Nadal won the China Open in Beijing and lost in the final of the Shanghai Masters to a superlative Roger Federer. However, this year, the 17-time grand slam winner will be skipping the Asian Swing due to his injury, as he confirmed on social media.
“Hello everyone, as you know I had to retire from the party of semi-finals in the US Open and this past Monday I was in Barcelona watching with doctors the situation of my knee,” it read.
“While this knee pain is nothing new to me, we have decided together with my medical and technical team not to participate in the Asian tour to recover the knee the way we have always done.
“I’m sorry I can’t be with all the fans in China who are so many and with the organizers of the Beijing and Shanghai tournaments that have always had all the attentions with me and my team.”
Nadal’s absence opens the door for world number two Federer and a resurgent Novak Djokovic to regain the top ranking from the Spaniard.