Rafael Nadal is optimistic about his 100 percent recovery for the ATP finals when he aspires to seal the number one world end of the year ranking for the fifth time in his career.
The 33-year-old Mallorcan took over from Novak Djokovic in the general standings this week but suffered an abdominal injury at the Paris Masters, which forced him to retire from his semifinal on Saturday.
Although he leads Djokovic by 640 points before the London tournament, he probably needs a solid performance in an event he has not yet won to prevent the Serbian from regaining first place.
“I have to go every day,” Nadal told reporters after arriving at London’s Thames-side O2 Arena on Friday.
“I am happy to be here because after last Saturday in Paris I did not know if I would have the opportunity to be here.
“I’m feeling excited to be here after two years without being able to play. I need to see how things evolve every day. I have good hopes of being ready one hundred percent by Monday.”
Nadal has been included in the group of Andre Agassi together with the defender of the title Alexander Zverev and the debutantes Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and the Russian Daniil Medvedev.
He is scheduled to start on Monday afternoon against Zverev but admits that the service remains the biggest concern.
“I started (serving) yesterday, very slowly,” said Nadal, who won the French and US Open this year to accumulate 19 Grand Slam titles, one behind Roger Federer’s record.