Djokovic to end year at No.1 with Rafa out

Rafael Nadal 'Being world No. 1 playing nine events is a miracle'

Rafael Nadal: Spaniard to have surgery on ankle injury and miss ATP Finals

And it is now time for the big finale at the ATP World Tour Finals in London, where the top 8 players of the year will battle it out with each other to end the season in the best possible manner.

Kevin Anderson has had another great season after a showing in his maiden Grand Slam final in NY previous year, with a remarkable run to the Wimbledon final and winning his first ATP 500 title in Vienna just a couple of weeks ago. "It was a hard year, very good at the tennis level when I was able to play and at the same time very bad in terms of injuries".

The world No 2 cited an abdominal injury as the reason and then decided after consulting with his doctor in Barcelona that he would immediately undergo keyhole surgery on a separate issue in his right ankle.

"In this way I hope to be in full condition for the next season".

The 14-time grand slam champion, guaranteed to end the year as world number one, will compete with Zverev, Cilic and debutant Josh Isner - Nadal's replacement - for a place in the semifinals.

Because Nadal's season is over, Djokovic is assured of finishing the year atop the ATP rankings for the fifth time.

'I would reckon the Novak Djokovic group is the tougher one, ' said the German, who coached Djokovic for three years.

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"Karen played really well and he deserved to win that match", said Djokovic, who defeated Switzerland's Roger Federer in a grueling match the day before to reach the finals. Anderson came from two sets down to defeat Federer in their Wimbledon quarterfinal in July.

Abdominal problems had seen Nadal pull out of the Paris Masters last week and while they continued to hinder him, the Spaniard also revealed he needed an operation to remove a "free body" from his ankle.

"I'm very, very happy and proud about it".

The left-hander excels on the dirt and has won a staggering 11 French Open titles.

Djokovic's dominant run ended on Sunday when he was beaten 7-5, 6-4 by Russian Kharen Khachanov in the Paris Masters final.

"What Novak has achieved this season has to go down as one of the great sporting comebacks".

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