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Federer pulls out of Paris Masters after Basel triumph
Just hours after claiming an eighth title at the Swiss Indoors in Basel on Sunday night, Roger Federer pulled out of the Paris Masters and virtually ensured that Rafael Nadal will end 2017 on top of the world rankings.
Federer, 36, withdrew from the final event of the regular season after beating Juan Martin del Potro 6-7 6-4 6-3 to win a 95th career title.
His latest triumph puts him into second on the all-time list behind Jimmy Connors who won 109. "My body is asking for a break," said Federer. "Basel takes a lot out of me emotionally. I had five matches in six days.
"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.”
Federer made a sensational return to the tour in January after six months out due to injury. He won the Australian Open and then followed that up with the Indian Wells and Miami Masters double in the spring. After skipping the clay court season, he resumed his schedule and won at Halle in Germany and collected an eighth Wimbledon crown. A fortnight ago he swept past Nadal in straight sets to lift the Shanghai Masters.
"I'd like to be fully fit for World Tour Finals in London, added Federer.
According to ATP calculations, Nadal can secure the status of year end number one by winning his second round match in Paris against either Mischa Zverev from Germany or Hyeon Chung from South Korea.
"I did think about the ranking," added Federer. "But I'm so far back in the points race that it was almost out of the question.
"I asked myself what I would do if the ranking issue was not there. I want to stay injury free, not push it and maybe get hurt next week and then miss London."
Del Potro will play in Paris as part of his quest to reach the eight man World Tour Finals which start on 12 November.
The 29-year-old’s cause has been aided following a run to the Shanghai semi-finals as well as claiming the Stockholm Open title on 22 October.
"It's unbelievable how well Roger is playing," said del Potro after his defeat. "I hope to be in such shape when I'm his age. But I doubt I will be."