Rafael Nadal is working to return to the courts by the October 29 start of Paris Bercy, with the players uncle and former coach Toni Nadal announcing a possible comeback scenario for the injured world No. 1.
Nadal is skipping the current ATP Asian swing in China to heal his knee but hopes to make a run at the end of the season in Paris as well as at the eight-man ATP Finals in London.
The 17-time grand slam champion was brought down by tendonitis as he quit his US Open semi-final this month against Juan Martin del Potro.
“Rafa told me that he will be back in Paris and that he’s not playing the Asian swing because he would not be ready to compete,” Toni told Spanish media.
“There is no reason to force the return. He already has experience and if he forces it gets complicated. At 32 what he needs to do is what he is doing, taking care and not being in a rush.”
Nadal will likely be fighting at season’s end to hang onto his top ranking after missing October play.
He is threatened by Roger Federer on second and newly-returned Novak Djokovic, ranked third after Wimbledon and US Open trophies in recent months in the wake of his own (elbow) injury worries.
Nadal finished the season atop the ATP rankings in 2008, 2010, 2013 and last year.
“I would have liked to end the US Open in a different way, but with this knee injury, everything got interrupted.”
The 32-year-old also admitted that he over-did it at the final Grand Slam of the season: “It’s important to learn from mistakes and know when to stop in order to avoid more serious things.
“This year I had a very cautious schedule and despite it I suffered two hard injuries. But coming back from injuries gives you an enormous satisfaction.”