‘I hope to be 100% ready for Monday’: Rafael Nadal optimistic ahead of ATP Finals

Spanish tennis icon Rafael Nadal hopes to be 100 per cent ready for the season-ending event, the Nitto ATP Finals, despite sustaining an abdominal injury which forced him to withdraw from the Paris Masters last week.

The world number one, who regained the top-ranked position this week replacing Serb Novak Djokovic, dispelled fears that he might skip the prestigious competition in London, stressing that he is planning to be competitive among a star-studded lineup.

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I am confident that I can be very competitive but of course it’s a tournament that you will face the top guys from the beginning so you need to be 100 percent ready,” the 33-year-old Spaniard said.

But I really hope I will be able to serve every single day a little better, and my hope is to be on Sunday serving normal,” he added.

Nadal who will start his ATP Finals campaign on Monday has been placed in the Andre Agassi group, along with defending champion Alexander Zverev of Germany, as well as tournament debutants Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and Russia’s Daniil Medvedev.

The Bjorn Bjorg group features Djokovic, Swiss star Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem of Austria and Italy’s Matteo Berrettini.

The 19-time Grand Slam winner, who is set to cement the year-end world number one ranking, will need to deliver a solid performance in London to prevent Djokovic from reclaiming the world crown.

Nadal is currently 640 points ahead of his Serb counterpart who will face Berrettini in the tournament curtain-raiser on Sunday.