Novak Djokovic was overtaken by Rafael Nadal as the new world No 1 despite the Serbian winning the Paris Masters.
Novak Djokovic has spoken of his sadness to see Rafael Nadal being forced to withdraw from the Paris Masters through injury.
Nadal had to pull out of his semi-final match against Denis Shapovalov on Saturday after feeling an issue in his stomach.
But despite Djokovic winning the tournament on Sunday, he still lost his No 1 ranking to his long-term rival on Monday.
However, Nadal’s withdrawal in the semi-final has given Djokovic an extra boost in the race to hold the year-end No 1 for a record-equalling sixth time.
Djokovic will still need to go undefeated at the ATP Finals to take back the No 1 spot if Nadal does play, with the tournament starting next week.
But even though Nadal could ultimately prevent him from achieving that goal, Djokovic still wants to see the 33-year-old feature in London.
“First of all, I’m sad to see that he’s injured because that’s not what you want to see, not for Rafa, not for any other athlete,” he said.
“I know how that feels. Obviously I went through major injuries in my life as well.
“Historically, he’s had more than several times injuries at the last part of the season. So I hope he can recover and compete in London.
“Because with or without him, obviously, also the battle for No. 1 but also the tournament itself is different.
“He’s a great champion and obviously lots of respect for him.
“Of course, in terms of points, that puts me in a better position after this week. But, again, I have to keep on winning.
“There’s always a chance that I win all my matches in London, that I play well. I have done it in the past, and I like playing there.
“But it’s extremely difficult task considering who my opponents are going to be. You know, you’re playing top 10 player every single match.
“So that’s a big task on my end that I have to focus on.
“And as a consequence, of course, if I manage to get the year-end No. 1, that would be, of course, fantastic.”