Nadal then daylight in decimated Paris field

Published by Matt Trollope

Rafael Nadal is just one of six top-10 ranked men appearing at the Paris Masters; Getty Images
Tournament director Guy Forget has expressed his disappointment at Roger Federer skipping the Paris Masters – the latest big name absent from the year’s final Masters event.

Rafael Nadal is the only member of the Big Four making the trip to Bercy for this year’s Paris Indoors.

With Novak Djokovic and defending champion Andy Murray having long been on the sidelines, Roger Federer joined them – albeit briefly – when he chose to forgo the year’s final ATP Masters event and rest ahead of the ATP Finals.

Nadal is one of just six top-10 players in Paris this year, with several big names missing from the action. The No.16 seed is Jack Sock – but he’s ranked 23rd.

Another crowd favourite, Gael Monfils, withdrew from the tournament due to a knee injury.

RELATED: Federer prioritises body management over No.1 ranking

In Federer’s absence, Nadal needs to win just one match to seal up the year-end No.1 ranking. After a first-round bye, he’ll open against either Mischa Zverev or Hyeon Chung.

Yet one thing creating spark in Paris is the Race to the ATP Finals. Two places remain up for grabs, yet several players are in with a shot.

Basel finalist Juan Martin del Potro (seeded 13th) and local favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the Vienna finalist, are perhaps the two highest-profile players chasing a berth at London’s O2.

Yet they must perform strongly in Paris to have any hope of leap-frogging Pablo Carreno Busta, Kevin Anderson and Sam Querrey, who currently sit ahead of them in the race.

Now in 12th place after accounting for the absence of Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka, Tsonga trails eighth-placed Carreno Busta by less than 300 points.

There are 1000 points on offer to the champion in Paris.

If the seedings hold, No.11 Tsonga could face David Goffin in the last 16, while del Potro faces a potential third-round meeting with fourth seed Alexander Zverev.

Carreno Busta and Querrey, seeded eighth and 10th respectively, could also clash at the same stage, with the winner likely to meet Nadal in the quarterfinals.

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