Doubts hovered over World No. 5 Rafael Nadal’s schedule for the remainder of the season after he seemed unsure of what he will do following his second round loss at the 2016 Shanghai Masters to World No. 31 Viktor Troicki. The Spaniard, who has traditionally not done well in the fall season, looked morose in the press conference and admitted it is a tough part of the season for him.
He said that he needed to speak with his team and coach to decide on the things they needed to work on for the next season. He dropped a hint that he could very well wrap up his season and that also meant giving up a chance to play at the prestigious year-ending ATP World Tour Finals for which he is still in contention.
But now reports have emerged that the 14-time Grand Slam champion is going to play at the Swiss Indoors in Basel, beginning October 24, after all. He has a three-year contract with the tournament that ends this year and that may have played a role in his decision.
It appears that Nadal has not only chosen to play just in singles but will also take part in doubles alongside the former World No. 1 Nenad Zimonjic. Doubles tennis has reaped rich dividends for the 30-year-old of late and has seen him winning two titles at the Rio Olympics and the China Open since coming back from a wrist injury.
Rafa has fond memories from his 2015 campaign at the Swiss Indoors even in singles. He reached the final of this indoor event for the first time and gave a tough fight to the six-time champion Roger Federer before falling in three sets.
Major scheduling changes for Nadal in 2017
Even if Nadal does play in Basel, it is still not confirmed if he will at all play at the Paris Masters and the World Tour Finals after that. And it is not just this year which might witness scheduling changes from the Mallorcan.
2017 also has some major changes in Nadal’s calendar which have already been confirmed by the Spaniard. Instead of the usual Qatar Open in Doha which had been his season-opener since 2008, the former World No. 1 will now kick off at the Brisbane International.
In February, he will be skipping the tournaments in South America which have yielded great results in the past few years. Instead Nadal will focus on the indoor hardcourt tournament at Rotterdam where his best performance was finishing second best to Andy Murray in 2009.
Nadal has emphasized that the weather conditions and the extreme humidity are the reasons that have discouraged him from continuing to play in the South American events, popularly called the ‘golden swing’.