Last week, the No.1 tennis player in the world announced he would withdraw from his next tournament. The Swiss Indoors in Basel, which began on Monday, is without charismatic superstar Rafael Nadal.
While the likes of Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro battle along the Rhine, the absence of Nadal has put a noticeable damper on the tournament. Since winning the 2005 French Open final just days after his 19th birthday, throngs of tennis enthusiasts have gravitated to Nadal due to his impeccable athleticism and skill.
"Sorry to announce that I won't travel to Basel in Switzerland but after very exhausting weeks I have to regroup my fitness and my body," Nadal announced on his Facebook page.
The 27-year-old has been battling injuries for much of the past year. In the summer of 2012, a knee injury forced him to take a seven-month hiatus from the sport. He returned in February at the Chile Open, and hasn't taken a break since, winning 10 titles, including both the French and U.S. Open.
Nadal recently surpassed Novak Djokovic in the rankings, claiming the top spot for the first time since 2011. Djokovic had been No.1 for 101 weeks, but the Spaniard earned the new ranking when he reached the final of the China Open. In 14 tries this year, Nadal has missed the final just once.
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Going so deep into tournaments can take a hard toll on the body. However, Nadal's short break is not likely to slow his momentum.
''The personal satisfaction is not because I am No. 1 today, it's because (of) all the work (I put in) to be where I am today,'' Nadal said on Oct. 5. ''I don't feel (like) a better player now than five hours ago, and I won't go to bed tonight feeling that I am the best player in the world-that's something I've never thought.''
Nadal is scheduled to play in the Paris Masters on Oct.28, followed by the ATP World Tour Finals a week later.