Rafael Nadal has announced that he will not be appearing in the ‘mandatory’ Masters 1000 event in Paris-Bercy next week.
Nadal left this post on his facebook page
Hi all. I won’t be playing this upcoming week the tournament in Paris Bercy. It’s been a difficult decision to take but I understand that it is what I need to do right now to prepare well for the end of this season and also for 2012. I hope I can be back in 2012 to that great event in the most beautiful city in the world, and hopefully try to win it once day.
This cryptic message has me very confused. Not only does he not say the reason for not appearing in Paris nor does he say that he is going to be competing in the World Tour Finals in London at the end of the month though it is vaguely implied.
This will again add fuel to the current debate about the amount of tennis being played.
Nadal has played 79 matches this season and has complied a tour high 66-13 record, including the French Open, Bareclona and Monte Carlo titles but unlike last year he has not had the same success.
Last year Nadal played in 81 matches but had more much success and he claimed seven titles including the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open for the first time.
Perhaps it is the lack of success that makes this season harder for the Spaniard, it has been a difficult year playing second fiddle, but despite similar match numbers season 2011 had been a struggle. Nadal has not dominant player he was twelve months ago and his opponents have more opportunities’ in their matches.
Nadal was not played since his shock loss to Florian Mayer in the third round of the Shanghai Masters in early October.
It is the second straight year that Nadal has not appeared in Paris tournament though he did play in the season ending championship where he finished runner up to Roger Federer.
One thing not lacking in Nadal’s game is preparation. The world number two is meticulous, to say the least, and I would not be shocked to see the Spaniard come out firing in 2011 once he overcomes his mystery ailment.