Injured Rafael Nadal withdraws from ATP World Tour Finals

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the season-ending ATP Finals due to a persistent abdominal injury and will take the time off to have ankle surgery.

He lost his place as world number one last week when injury forced him to pull out of the Paris Masters, with Novak Djokovic moving to the top of the rankings.

And Rafa will not get the opportunity to end the year on a high as he will not play in London, citing both last week’s abdominal issue and a long-standing ankle problem for his absence.

Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

“It has been a complicated year — very good at the tennis level when I have been able to play and, at the same time, very bad as far as injuries are concerned,” Rafa wrote in a series of messages on his Twitter page. “I have done everything possible to get to the end of the season in good condition, both to Paris and to London, doing things well, and I really wanted to play.

“Unfortunately I had the abdominal problem in Paris last week and I also have a free body in the ankle joint that has to be removed in the operating room today.”

“It is true that we had detected for some time and occasionally bothered me. However, since the problem in the abdominal muscle also prevents me from playing in London, we take the time to remove the free body and avoid future problems. This way I hope to be in full condition for next season.”

Get well soon, Rafa!


  1. Although Rafa’s withdrawal from the WTF was hardly unexpected, I still got those feelings of my heart sinking through the flloor, and panic and worry when I read the news this afternoon. I guess I was never cut out to be a sports fan, but then again I became a fan of someone who is so much more than a sports person – how else was it going to be?

    There probably wasn’t much to be gained for Rafa from either Paris Bércy or WTF without 100% health and match fitness, other than minimising the points difference between himself and Novak, but that’s not worth the risk. Novak will probably end up 2000 points ahead – well, so be it. He’ll lose the #1 to somebody at some point too.

    Hopefully neither of Rafa’s physical issues is too serious. The ankle thing sounds much like Djokovic’s elbow problem and he was back playing very shortly after the procedure (once he decided to have it). Goldwolf’s evaluation sounds about right.

    Get well soon Rafa, I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow and every day, you’ll be back healthy and strong and rested next year, love you always.

  2. Rafa playing at the WTF was never really on the cards, given the nature of his abdominal injury. We’ve been here so many times with Rafa’s end of season injuries, so rather than being sad that he couldn’t play to the very end, i’m confident that, with a sensible and realistic schedule, he’ll do well next year. Incidentally, his current physical state is also a good reason (or excuse) for him to pull out of the exhibition match in Saudi Arabia.

  3. Rafa
    I will l miss you playing but it is the right move to make to make your health top priority. No one brings the excitement to the courts like you do . No one ever has or can match what you bring. You are still considered #1 to most of us who watch Tennis and you will remain there as well. Novak is only in the #1 spot due to your injuries and not by his ability to play tennis great. he’s good but not like you, He can’t hold a candle to you. Anyway enough about him bad taste in my mouth now.
    Rafa please get well I’m saving up so that I can see you in the French Open which you OWN. The King of Clay. My Cousin Allison got to met you at Indian Wells one year and she said you talked to her and took a selfie she said you were the nicest person she has ever met and let me tell you that is a BIG Complement coming from her. she is a walking angel on earth. I want to met you if I could but seeing you play the French Open is on my bucket list
    love ya Rafa get well

  4. I’m going to the semis and the two people I really wanted to see were Rafa and del Potro – I think I must be a bad luck charm! If anything happens to Dominic Thiem, I’ll know I am. It’s the right decision: he never does well in London anyway. But I’m vaguely annoyed at all the “Nole is wonderful” posts the ATP are putting out – he’s done incredibly well to get back there from where he was earlier in the year, but it *is* by default! And well done to Karen Khachanov.

  5. Rafa get well we need you at the tennis court is so excited to see you play ,the best player on the tour vamossssssssssss champ .rest for 2019 ❤️❤️❤️👍👍👍🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸❤️❤️❤️🌍🌍🌍

  6. I’m so pissed… I hate seeing a default at year end #1. Get well soon Rafa and come back and kick Chokovic’s ass at the Aussie!

  7. Dear Rafa. Sorry for your injury problems. Hope you have a complete and speedy recovery. God bless you. Love. Marylynn.

  8. Does anyone know what “a free body in the ankle joint” is? Rafa, rest and get healthy soon! We miss you so much!

    • Another term for bone spur. Piece of bone that can be formed from friction or sometimes a piece of bone forms from breaks off of a bigger bone. As the body tries to repair the big broken bone, calcium gets deposited in tendon or ligaments etc andnthere you have a bone spur.

  9. This is the best thing that could happen. Rafa will be fresh in Melbourne and ready to play at a high level, mark my words!

    I think a 2017-run is possible again. He just needs to get past the early rounds fast.

  10. Get well soon Rafa! Take all the time and rest that your body needs to recover. will be looking forward to see you next year.
    Tennis is so boring without you. One doesn’t need to be your fan to appreciate that the energy you bring to the court is impossible to match.
    It’s disappointing that we won’t be able to see you in action this year. But it break our hearts to see you struggling out there physically and be in pain.
    We all will be here waiting for our champ to come back strong and healthy. Vamos💪💪💪

  11. Yes please get well soon
    I sure miss you not playing your health is very important do what ever you have to do to be well enjoy your Christmas with family & will see you in the new year do u think you will make it to Australia for our open in Melbourne I truly hope so 🙏😇🎾🇦🇺👑c

  12. So going to miss you Rafa, but, would rather you were 100% fit n healthy, and come back to win the Aussie open. You are simply the most amazing player I have ever seen, and it’s just not the same if you are not playing. My hero and an absolute icon. X

  13. We can only hope that Rafa will take some ‘Lessons in Confidence’ from the Karen Khachanov victory over Novak Djokovic over the weekend.

    Rafa is always full of praises to high heavens for Novak and idolises/worships him as if Novak is invincible. But see, Karen literally destroyed Novak in straights sets from down under!!!

    We are saying this because anytime Rafa is to play Novak, you cannot but sense some feelings of helplessness (or better still) hopelessness coming from Nadal all the time. It needs no gainsaying the fact that Nadal’s recent 2 lone wins over Novak were simply because Novak was still then in recuperating mode. Once fully fit, Novak resumed his usual destruction of Nadal all over again!!!

    What we are simply saying is that Novak is not invincible after all. To win against him, Nadal needs to develop a POSITIVE MINDSET & A STRATEGIC GAME PLAN with string emphasis on the followings:
    1. Keep the points shots – avoid long rallies (Novak is still the best returner the world has ever seen)
    2. POWER-SERVE: Must be able to win free points at will (use the Nick Kyrgios formula – Nick is the only player – living or dead – with a 100% Head yo Head record against Djokovic)
    3. Excellent shot making and net game

    However, we know Nadal is stubborn and will not take to these pieces of advice. Hence, we predict that Novak will continue to dominate him into the foreseeable future. And that future includes the French Opens and the clay court ATPs as well.

    But, as always, we’d see…………..hmmn

  14. I missed you, Rafa at the Paris Masters’ 1000 but of course your health is most important.
    All your fans know you’ve been down this road before with injuries, but it is always so sad when you suffer again and so much. Tennis is such a physically demanding sport. Take all the time for a full recovery. You have such a great support team, family and friends around you. Wishing you all the best.. You are such a great person and champion. Look forward to watching you compete in 2019 provided you are fully recovered and are at 100% Health. All the best, love you Rafa, Vamos!

  15. Hey Rafa —— you rare champion – get well soonest . See you in Abu Dhabi end of the year or in Australia in 2019.

    Legend now – legend lifetime. Absolutely magnificent to see you play !

    Tennis is just not exhilarating without you.

    Ahhhhh to watch you in full flow is ecstasy !!!
    Cheerios Rafa ! Missing you but get well soon.


  16. It is what it is Rafa. Take the time off and get back to being the great player that you are.
    VAMOS RAFA🙏🤛❤❤

  17. Rafa dear, your health comes first. We your fans just need you to be healthy. Please do whatever you need in medical terms, to be fit. My prayers are always with you.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery. Will wait to see you in 2019.

    Love you always. God bless you.

  18. Best of luck, Rafael. Take care of yourself. Of course, you will be missed in these tournaments.👍👊🍀😍

  19. So sad to hear that Rafa won’t be going to London 😥, I was hoping to see him play Get well soon, enjoy the rest, here’s to 2019😍xx

  20. Take care of yourself Rafa. I wish you a speedy recovery. I don’t watch tennis if you’re not playing, so I’ll wait until next season.

  21. Very sad. Take some rest, enjoy the time with your family and friends and than all the best for 2019. Always with you. Vamos Rafa <3

  22. Rafa please take care and get well properly!!!

    Have such a sick feeling in the stomach thinking Rafa may really retire soon. Hope not.

    Pleeease find the best treatments so that you can heal well and also some preventative measures to make your body strong and more resistant to injuries.

    Love you Rafa! Good luck!!!


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