Rafael Nadal has called an early halt to his disappointing season, citing a left wrist injury. The former No1 says he will now work on his recovery in time for the 2017 season after a year that saw him fail to add to his 14 grand slam titles.
He stated on Facebook: "It is no secret that I arrived to the Olympic Games short of preparation and not fully recovered, but the goal was to compete and win a medal for Spain. This forced recovery has caused me pain since then and now I am forced to stop and start preparing the 2017 season.
"I am very saddened for not being able to play next week in Basel since I have a great memory of the tournament and the final played against Roger Federer last year. I won't be able to compete either in Paris-Bercy, where the crowds and the FFT staff have always treated me so well. Now it is time to rest and start preparing intensively the 2017 season."
The 30-year-old's last match was a poor defeat 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) to Viktor Troicki in his first match at the Shanghai Masters earlier in October. Since then he has been mainly occupied with opening his new tennis academy – the Rafael Nadal Academy – in his native Mallorca with the help of his rival Roger Federer. Shanghai extended a difficult run for the Spanish left-hander who hasn't reached a final since he won his second title of the year in Barcelona in April.
It means Nadal, ranked No5 in the world, will miss the ATP World Tour Finals in London, which could open the door for Tomas Berdych or David Goffin – five of the slots are already confirmed, including Britain's Andy Murray.
Signs are growing of a steady decline for the clay-court king, who won his first French Open title aged 17 but hasn't added to his tally of majors since the 2014 French Open. Nadal admitted "he didn't play well enough" in losing in the fourth round of the US Open, one of his biggest disappointments in a shaky year.
Nadal said he badly needed to work on his once-formidable forehand: "Every time that I hit the forehand, I need to create pain for the opponent, something that is not happening today," he said. "Maybe because I had an injury on the wrist and I am scared. Maybe because I still have some limitation in there."