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By Chineze Ogugua

Rafael Nadal withdrew from his Paris Masters match against Fernando Verdasco with an abdominal injury.

Rafael Nadal

This means that World number two Novak Djokovic will replace him as world number one when the rankings are released on Monday.

Djokovic, a 14-time Grand Slam champion, was ranked 21st going into this year’s Wimbledon and will become the first player to be outside the world’s top 20 and the world number one in the same season since Russia’s Marat Safin in 2000.

According to the French Open champion, he said: “I felt better than I thought I would one week ago but in the last few days I started to feel a bit in my abdominal, especially when I was serving,”

“I checked with the doctor and the doctor recommended that I did not play.”

“It has been a tough year for me in terms of injury so I want to avoid drastic things. I have to think longer term. I want to keep playing tennis for a couple of years, so I have to do the logical thing.”

Fernando Verdasco, meanwhile, takes on Jack Sock in the next round after the American beat France’s Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-3.

Earlier on Wednesday, world number three Roger Federer made it through to the last 16 without playing when Milos Raonic pulled out with an elbow injury.

Read also: Rafael Nadal Opens His Tennis Academy For Flood Victims

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