Roger Federer withdraws from Paris Masters, Rafael Nadal to remain No 1

By @saihoops on
Rod Laver, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal
Apr 2, 2017; Key Biscayne, FL, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain (L) and Roger Federer of Switzerland (R) hold the finalist and Butch Buchholz trophy, respectively, after their match in the men's singles championship of the 2017 Miami Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center. Federer won 6-3, 6-4. USA TODAY Sports / Geoff Burke

World No. 2 Roger Federer made a surprising decision to withdraw from the forthcoming Rolex Paris Masters (Oct. 30 - Nov. 5) after winning his eighth Swiss Indoors title on Sunday. Federer needed to put up strong performances at Paris and the Nitto ATP Finals (Nov. 12-19) to displace World No. 1 Rafael Nadal from the summit.

Federer, after dropping the first set, rallied back to beat rival Juan Martin del Potro 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-3, Sunday to claim his 95th career ATP title. Federer moved past Ivan Lendl into second on the all-time list behind American Jimmy Connors’ tally of 109 ATP titles. Federer also broke the streak of losing to Del Petro at his home tournament in Basel, after losing to the Argentine in 2012 and 2013. 

After overcoming Del Potro in two-and-a-half hours, Federer praised the Argentine before declaring his intention to withdraw from the Masters event at Bercy, France. "Congratulations to Juan Martin. You’ve had a great run since the US Open (when he beat Federer in the quarter-finals) and before. I wish that I was able to play every week like you have, it’s going to be difficult for me in the future to do that," the 36-year-old Federer said at the presentation ceremony. 

Roger Federer explains decision to skip Paris Masters

Federer, who skipped the entire claycourt season in 2017 to focus on the Wimbledon and US Open, was candid about his decision to withdraw from Paris. “My body is asking for a break. Basel takes a lot out of me emotionally. I had five matches in six days. I feel sorry and sad for Paris. I love to play at Bercy, it’s a few times now that I’ve not played there. It’s a tough one but they have to understand that it’s for the cause of staying injury-free and healthy. I’d like to be fully fit for London (the World Tour Finals) and for 2018."

Rafael Nadal will need to win at Bercy to confirm his status as World No. 1, making next month's ATP Finals inconsequential. Federer, nursing a back injury, has confirmed his participation for the London Masters event which runs through Nov. 12-19.