Rafael Nadal is on the cusp of ending a season as the world number one — the first time since 2013 — after Roger Federer pulled out of the Paris Masters owing to fitness issues.
The Spaniard needs just one win to end 2017 as the number one ranked player and that can be achieved if he beats Hyeon Chung in the second round of the Masters Series in Paris on Wednesday (1 November).
Nadal and Federer have dominated the ongoing campaign having won six and seven titles respectively. They have also shared the four Grand Slams between them with the Spaniard winning a 10<sup>th French Open title and a third US Open crown.
The 31-year-old skipped the Swiss Indoors last week, which Federer won, owing to knee soreness. Nadal made it clear that his focus remains on winning his first match and not on the race for the year-end number one.
The French capital is an important city in Nadal's career owing to his successes at Roland Garros, but despite his dominance on the red dirt, he is yet to win a title on the hard courts in Paris-Bercy. If the Spanish tennis star wins his first title he will overtake Novak Djokovic as the most successful player in Masters Series events as they are currently tied on 30 ATP 1000 titles.
"I needed to rest after Shanghai. I've had a lot of matches this year," Nadal said, as quoted by the Metro.
"I am here to try my best as always and just trying to practise well every day... I am just happy to be here in probably the most important city in my career.
"Let's see. I need to win a match. But I am here to try my best as in every tournament," the 16-time men's singles Grand Slam champion added.
"Of course, if that happens, it will be something important for me. But the season is not over and this is not the moment to think much about that," Nadal added. "I will just try to think about trying to have the right preparation for the tournament and then try to be ready for the first match."