Novak Djokovic uncomfortable with Rafael Nadal question as pair tussle for year-end No 1

Novak Djokovic did not want to comment on the possibility of Rafael Nadal skipping the ATP Finals.

Both players are locked in a battle for the year-end world No 1.

But Nadal, who is 640 points clear at the top of the standings, is struggling with a stomach injury which forced him to retire from Paris Masters.

And there is a strong chance he could skip the season-ending event at London’s O2 Arena.

That would put Djokovic in prime position to return to the top of the rankings – but the Serbian was not comfortable predicting his rival’s demise.

“It is a motivation and a goal every day,” Djokovic said of the year-end No 1.

“It is a goal that I have as a professional tennis player to win as many Grand Slams as possible and also to be No 1 worldwide for as long as possible.

“But it’s not possible for me now to assume anything. It is not a reality. I have to wait and see what happens in London, to see if I can reach that goal.

“As I said, it wouldn’t be correct to presume with regard to Nadal and the others. I don’t feel well talking about that right now.”

Djokovic was speaking after beating Denis Shapovalov in the Paris Masters final.

The 16-time Grand Slam winner comfortably edged his young Canadian opponent 6-3, 6-4.

“Okay. I thought it was a great serving performance from both Denis and me,” he added.

“It was very difficult to read his serve. He was serving really well on the other side. I think I had the best serving match of the tournament, and that’s why the match was pretty short, you know, just over an hour for two sets.

“For 6-3, 6-4, that’s a result that doesn’t separate the two players too much. I mean, it’s only one break in each set. That was enough to win the match.

“But I started off very well, very solid. And second set I was just waiting for him to drop his percentage of first serves in, a little bit, maybe give him a different look, position myself differently. It worked. I put him under pressure for the second serve and from the back of the court I was solid and not giving him too many opportunities.

“And just one of the best matches I have played, definitely, this week. And I feel like the second part of the week was terrific. It was improving day by day for me in terms of level of tennis.

“And I couldn’t be happier with this win.”

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