Rafael Nadal has handed Roger Federer a huge boost in the race to finish as the year no. 1 by withdrawing from the Swiss Masters.
Federer beat Nadal in the Shanghai Masters and is now less than 2,000 points behind the Spaniard in the ATP rankings.
And the gap is set to close further following Nadal’s decision to sit out in Federer’s hometown Basel.
Nadal is struggling with a right knee problem which has forced him to skip the event, which starts on Monday.
It is unclear whether the 16-time Grand Slam champion will be fit for the Paris Masters, an ATP 1000 event, the week after.
Roger Federer, meanwhile, is poised to play in both Basel and Paris as he bids to finish as the world no.1.
Nadal played with knee strapping on his right leg against Federer and hinted he would pull out of Basel after the Shanghai Masters final loss.
“I don’t want to talk about that [the knee strapping] now, sorry,” Nadal told reporters in his post-match press conference.