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Rafael Nadal holds a 16-8 record in Shanghai.

Nadal Withdraws From Shanghai

Spaniard still eager for more tennis this season

Rafael Nadal will have to wait another year to pursue his first Rolex Shanghai Masters title. The Spaniard was forced to withdraw from the eighth ATP Masters 1000 event of the year with a left hand injury.

The injury also left him unable to take the court for his second singles match last month at Laver Cup. Nadal, a two-time finalist in Shanghai (2009 and 2017), hoped to build on his current 11-match winning streak. The Masters 1000 titles record holder has won 28 of his past 29 matches, a run that includes his fourth US Open title (d. Medvedev) and 12th Roland Garros triumph (d. Thiem), in addition to Masters 1000 crowns in Montreal (d. Medvedev) and Rome (d. Djokovic).

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The withdrawal gives defending Shanghai champion Novak Djokovic an opportunity to close the gap on Nadal in the battle to finish year-end World No. 1. 

Coming into this week the Serbian trailed Nadal by 1,960 points in the ATP Race to London, an indicator of where players will be positioned at the end of the season. But Djokovic could earn 500 points if he wins the Tokyo title this weekend and another 1,000 points by winning Shanghai.

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Nadal is scheduled to compete next at the Rolex Paris Masters, the ninth and final ATP Masters 1000 tournament of the 2019 season.