He added that he decided to have the ankle operation so he can start 2019 healthy. John Isner will replace Nadal in the ATP Finals field. Play in London begins next Sunday. Nadal hasn't competed since he retired from his U.S. Open semifinal because of a painful right knee.
He lost his No. 1 ranking to Novak Djokovic on Monday. Because Nadal's season is over, Djokovic is assured of finishing the year atop the ATP rankings for the fifth time. The 32-year-old Spaniard ends 2018 with a 45-4 record and five titles, including his 17th Grand Slam trophy at the French Open in June.
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