Nadal Withdraws from Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai, Simon Named Replacement
by Staff | November 3rd, 2008, 4:07 pm

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal will forgo the season-ending Shanghai Tennis Masters Cup to recuperate from a right knee injury. Nadal, who is assured of finishing 2008 as the No. 1 ranked player for a first time in his career, hurt his knee during his match against Nikolay Davydenko in the quarterfinals at Paris last Friday.

“I have decided not to compete on the Masters Cup in Shanghai,” Nadal said in a statement on his website. “As I say this is one of the most difficult decisions in my career due to the importance of the event and above all, due to the fact of not making possible my will to be with the fans in China and the tournament organizers that always treated me in such special way.”

Nadal also stressed the importance of the looming Davis Cup final which takes places the weekend of November 21.

“I want to recover and be ready for the important Davis Cup final with my country that will be played in Mar del Plata, Argentina,” added Nadal, a winner of eight titles in 2008 including the French Open and Wimbledon. “That is also another reason for not coming to Shanghai.”

Nadal has been plagued by knee issues since storming onto the tennis scene in 2001. The 22-year-old Spaniard will be replaced in the eight-man field by Frenchman Gilles Simon who will make his first Tennis Masters Cup appearance.

According to the ATP rule 3.01.C.2, Nadal will be fined 5% of his 2008 prize money ($6.77M) if he does not appear in Shanghai for media obligations. Nadal reportedly collected on a $1.5 million dollar bonus for playing in Paris.

The year-ending Tennis Masters Cup begins on Sunday. With Nadal withdrawn, the top seed will now be defending champion Roger Federer. The remainder of the field includes Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Nikolay Davydenko, Andy Roddick, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Simon. James Blake is currently the alternate.

Also Check Out:
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Del Potro Withdraws from Shanghai
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29 Comments for Nadal Withdraws from Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai, Simon Named Replacement

NachoF Says:

I wanted Federer to beat Nadal here again :(

Just wondering Says:

Regarding seedings at the TMC in Shanghai, how are the groups done: are seeds #1 and #4 automatically in the same group, while seeds #2 and #3 are together in the other group? How about seeds #5 to #8?
If so, Federer will be with Davydenko, while Djoko will square off against Murray. Much different than Nadal/Murray in one group, and Federer/Djokovic in the other one…

I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

I wanted Federer to beat Nadal here again

Federer woulda got beat by Murray

zola Says:

I am so glad Rafa is resting. He shouldn’t have gone to Paris in the first place.

Is the fine system for this year or next? I think they get fined 20,000 or something like that ( If I remember correctly from when Roddick was fined for not going to Montecarlo)

Nadal is a sissy Says:

Another season where Nadal fizzled out after the US open. Will he ever win a Masters cup? The no. of contenders keeps growing by the day and Nadal’s fitness on the faster surfaces is quite shoddy. Quite ironic that he is not actually the “Iron Man” that his fans make him out to be.

Looks like he has had enough losses to andy murray, gilles simon, davydenko, tsonga, and djokovic! Maybe he and his fans can convince the ATP to have Masters cup on clay the week after French Open. It looks quite improbable that Nadal will win a TMC on a fast surface at the end of a season.

Von Says:

The 5% fine Nadal has to pay for missing the TMC is a mere pittance of approximately $300.75K as compared to the $1.5 million he obtained for his appearance in Paris. A drop in the bucket and one which shouldn’t cause him to lose sleep.

andrea Says:

i gotta hand it to these players – all this travelling around the world and having to compete. it is tough.

but thank goodness they do it or we’d have nothing to blog about!

grendel Says:

I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies:

I was seriously worried by your apparent comment:”I wanted Federer to beat Nadal again”. Good grief! What’s going on? The world may turn out to be triangular, Sarah Palin may see the light and denounce creationism as a deplorable insult to reason, Safin may announce that he has always been secretly gay, and furthermore reveal that for years he has harboured a hopeless passion for Philippoussis, Philippoussis may inquire as to why Safin imagines his passion is hopeless and meanwhile here is his phone number; all these things, whilst perhaps unlikely, lie -strictly speaking – within the realm of the possible.

But that I Like Tennis Bullies etc should want Federer to beat Nadal? The very foundations of reason totter, nothing sacred can any longer can be relied upon, and perhaps, after all, 2+2=5.

And then, I realised that I like tennis bullies etc was actually quoting, derisively, NachoF. That dizzy feeling slid away, the lights came back on, day was day and night was night, and all was right with the world. Phew! Scary moment.

Noel Says:

“Regarding seedings at the TMC in Shanghai, how are the groups done: are seeds #1 and #4 automatically in the same group, while seeds #2 and #3 are together in the other group? How about seeds #5 to #8?
If so, Federer will be with Davydenko, while Djoko will square off against Murray. Much different than Nadal/Murray in one group, and Federer/Djokovic in the other one…”

The top two seeds are kept in different groups. Thereafter one player from the next two players i.e. seeds 3 and 4 will be drawn and will go to the top seed’s group. The other remaining player will obviously go to the group of the second seed.So, if no.4 is drawn first,he goes to the top seed’s group and no. 3 automatically goes to the second seed’s group.However,if no. 3 is drawn first,he will go to the top seed’s group and no. 4 then goes to the second seed’s group.This process continues in a similar manner for the next two seeds i.e. 5 and 6 and finally for the last two seeds i.e. 7 and 8.It is clear that there is no fixed slot.Therefore,there is no guarantee that 1 and 4 or 1 and 3 will definitely be in the same group for instance. We could well have a situation where seeds 1,3,5,7 could fall in the same group or seeds 1,4,6,8 could fall in the same group.Hope this clarifies more than confuses.

With Rafa’s withdrawal,things become pretty interesting w.r.t. the seedings.It will become even more interesting if Fed pulls out as well.Nole will be the second seed as things stand now and if Murray falls on Fed’s side,it will be a relatively weaker second group-based on recent form-with Nole and Davy.Thankfully,Rod and Tsonga will definitely be in opposing groups as things stand now although Tsonga-if fit and healthy-appears to be the more dangerous player at the moment.I definitely won’t like Fed,Murray and Tsonga or Rod falling in the same group.I also hope JMDP and Simon will be well-rested after the early Paris exit and will have recovered sufficiently to make a mark in Shanghai.

Von Says:


“I definitely won’t like Fed,Murray and Tsonga or Rod falling in the same group.”

Neither will I. You were correct on the ranking points being taken off after Paris. Ferrer is now out of the top 10 due to the ’07 TMC points being erased. Do you have to be so smart? :P

Kimmi Says:

Andrea:”i gotta hand it to these players – all this travelling around the world and having to compete. it is tough.”

The reward for the top players is a lot of $$$$.

I hope Nadal gets enough rest and recover, because the Davis cup will not be easy. Nalbandian will be tough to beat, and a tired Nadal can be bageled by nalbandian easily.

All in all Nadal had an excellent year, 2 grand slams and Olympic Gold was the highlight. Hope he come again strong next year. I want to see more fit federer and fit nadal matches, they are intertaining to watch.

Beatrice Says:

NachoF, I agree with you.

I wanted Roger to beat Nadal again too..

Noel Says:

At the outset,let me offer my apology for not having responded to the post you addressed to me some time back and I definitely deserve a big rap on the knuckles for this apparent uncouthness.I think I owe you a reply but have been way too lazy to persuade myself to go ahead with the task.I hope to cover some more ground,as it were,because of some of your recent comments regarding Sampras,Tsonga,Safin etc.I hope I find the resolve to accomplish the task in the not too distant future. :) Please don’t laugh at me too much.

I have been catching up on the missed threads/posts and I must say you really express yourself extremely well.Your posts make for delightful reading.You are almost a tennis equivalent of John Arlott.I wish I could come even remotely close w.r.t. the way you describe a point/match and I loved your inputs to get an idea of how a match went or how a player played esp for Basel and some Madrid/Paris matches as well.We,in the third world, still don’t have access to as much tennis as you guys have and expensive and limited-bandwidth broadband connections make watching internet streaming unviable.I am really thankful to you for those brilliantly descriptive posts.That ‘force of nature’ post was as apt a piece on that match as I will probably read anywhere else.It almost summed up my own feelings regarding that match and I could hardly disagree on any point-except probably only very slightly w.r.t.JWT’s bh and second serve- that you mentioned.It was one of the few matches that they showed live here.

BTW,even though I probably know that you are just exaggerating a point,even I am not as pessimistic about Fed’s chances against Rafa on a hard court at this time of the year.Fed probably would have been the favourite at Sanghai against Rafa under the circumstances.

P.S. I am sorry to have misread your pot shot at bully/sissy as pessimism regarding Fed’s chances against Rafa.I didn’t read the full post initially.Yeah,it is extremely unlikely that s/he’d want Fed to beat Rafa.I haven’t deleted my ‘BTW’ lines because I do think that there is-and definitely was- a slight psychological angle to the matter esp after two successive slam final defeats to Rafa.

Noel Says:

I know very well that I am not very smart and you flatter me on a point where I really don’t think I deserve it in any way.I am sure a lot of people know about it.It is just that you somehow didn’t happen to know the procedure.I am seemingly ‘smart’ on a point only if another person happens to be ignorant on that particular point. :)

Sean Randall Says:

Zola, I have no idea on the fine, if it will be even enforced. We shall see if there’s any word from the ATP on it.

Tejuz Says:

well… Roddick and Tsonga will be the No 5 and 6 seeds.. so obviously they will be on the opposite groups.

So the strongest group we could have in shanghai is

Fed, Murray, Tsonga(becuz he is in better form than ARod), Del Potro(or Simon).

weakest group would be
Fed, Davy, A-Rod, Del-Potro cuz Fed has the winning record over all his opponents there.

gulu Says:

I was also hoping for Roger v. Rafa matches at Shanghai where Fed would have beaten Rafa (I strongly believ it) and it’d hav ended lik may be 2-4
for Fed instead of 0-4 in Rafa’s favor for this year. It’s really unfortunate! :-(

Jankovic, Ivanovic, Williams Sisters Headline Doha WTA Championships; Nadal Out of Shanghai Says:

[...]  Nadal Withdraws from Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai, Simon Named Replacement [...]

gulu Says:

Dear Zola, I think that Rafa’s got the momentum this time going to Davis Cup final and he’ll lead Spain to victory! Now cheer up! :-)

Giner Says:

Nadal is out? What a bad way to end a banner year. If he can’t play Davis Cup, Argentina will have it in the bag.

Simon still beat Nalbandian for the final spot?

The field was looking to be the strongest field there since TMC was moved to Shanghai. Who knows if Fed will even play? Almost all 8 players there had a shot at winning the title. Now I see Murray as the favourite.

“According to the ATP rule 3.01.C.2, Nadal will be fined 5% of his 2008 prize money ($6.77M) if he does not appear in Shanghai for media obligations. Nadal reportedly collected on a $1.5 million dollar bonus for playing in Paris.”

Ouch. That’s $338,000, which is about what you make for winning a Masters Series title. Do they expect you to play even if you’re injured? I suggest they implement a rule where if you provide a medical certificate then an ATP official checks out your injury to make sure it’s real and not manufactured, and if it’s confirmed legit, you shouldn’t get fined for it. This is a big fine, not just the standard few thousand. This is a fine in proportion to your total prize money for the year (which for him was big) for being injured!

Giner Says:

Von Says:

“The 5% fine Nadal has to pay for missing the TMC is a mere pittance of approximately $300.75K as compared to the $1.5 million he obtained for his appearance in Paris. A drop in the bucket and one which shouldn’t cause him to lose sleep.”

$300k is not a pittance to $1.5m. That’s about 20%. Would you throw away a 20% interest return on lending money to a bank? The concept remains: It’s an inproportionately large fine for pulling out of a tournament. When was the last time a player was fined $300k for pulling out? Roddick whined on his website for being fined $20k for missing a tournament when Davydenko was fined $2k for tanking a match.

If $300k is a pittance, why did the equal rights activists make such a mountain out of Wimbledon not paying equal prize money to women? The difference was $50k to the champion.

Lleyton Hewitt has had an ongoing lawsuit against the ATP for 5 years now over a $20k fine they charged him for skipping a post match interview. He could have easily paid it off and not bothered with the hassle but he’s one of those guys who weren’t going to stand down.

It’s not the money these guys are complaining about, it’s the reason behind it. Nadal may be a softie but I’d have kicked up a storm if it were me. 5% is nothing to shake a stick at. If Lleyton Hewitt was fined $300k by the ATP, you can be sure he wouldn’t take it lying down.

In 2005 when TMC first moved to Shanghai, about 5 of the 8 qualifiers pulled out (Federer played through injury) and they got off scott-free. Hewitt qualified that year and it wasn’t even because of injury that he skipped it, but the birth of his child. Someone has to step in and decide what is a legit excuse for pulling out and where to draw the line. Is birth okay, but injury not? Is it ok to pull out if you’re not #1? They need to be clear and consistent. (I do think birth is a legit excuse, but no more so than injury.)

Von Says:


My mention of the 5% fine as a mere pittance to the $1.5 million received from Paris concerns a trade-off. Had Nadal missed Paris he would have lost $1.5 million, which is 5 times greater than the cost of pulling out from Shanghai. If you were given a choice which would you take?

I agree, that the 5% penalty of Nadal’s prize money for ’08 is greater than the normal $20,000 for pulling out of a Masters Series event, but the TMC is not a regular Masters event, it’s the “TMC” where there are certain media and contractual obligations, etc., to be fulfilled. Nadal’s withdrawal at such a late stage has thrown the ATP into a state of quandary. There are many things that go on behind the scenes for the preparation of the TMC and when the No. 1 player pulls out, without a doubt, this puts a wrench in the ATP’s plans. I’m sure ATP will lose more monetarily than the fine they have assessed to Nadal. To the lay person this seems harsh, but when we look at the whole picture it’s more costly to the Association. Nadal is coming out of this situation smelling like a rose as opposed to skipping Paris and playing at the TMC. I’d take the $1.5 million any day and pay the fine. (“Improportionate” not ‘inproportionate’) I hope this explanation has some merit.

ferix Says:

Firstly, Nadal is the best player in the world – but what a disappointment as the world number 1 he has been since he has taken over!! If the Davis Cup is next week and he would be fit enough to play Davis Cup then, he should be playing TMC. Why should we accept that it’s a given that he is right for prioritising the Davis Cup over TMC? IMO, the fine is very very fair.

Also, if you read the linked article in Sean’s article, Uncle Toni is whining about Rafa’s outside commitments affecting his training. This is a swipe at Uncle Toni and not at Rafa. But it proves again how Federer has handled the pressure and commitment of being number 1 with such grace.

grendel Says:


Your extravagant praise has me blushing. I’m just someone who likes words, who enjoys watching the vagaries of human behaviour whether on a tennis court or anywhere else. I’ve always loved watching tennis, and I feel very privileged to be able to write about it here, attempting to interpret a player’s performance and so on, because really I have no expertise at all beyond years of watching. People who know far more about tennis, having played it at a competitive level, pull me up for getting it wrong, and sometimes they do this – I suspect – just by remaining silent. You yourself took me apart in one post, in a delightfully gentle manner, and I had no objections, apart from wishing I hadn’t talked such careless rubbish.

b.t.w., I wasn’t having a pot shot at I like tennis bullies not tennis cissies. I actually enjoy his posts, but it just struck me as pretty funny if one were to misinterpret (as I did initially) the line “I wanted Federer to beat Nadal again” as his own when it was actually a quote.

In Britain, we seem to be very fortunate so far as tennis watching goes. Eurosport, Skysports and BBC – not a bad combination. In a way, I wouldn’t want more, there are other things in life besides tennis, and these “streams” people watch – well, that seems to me to go beyond the call of duty. I mean, it’s really pretty grim…I suppose that will improve though, as technology does.

Fedfan Says:

Just like Fed’s peak year was 2006, Nadal’s peak year “was” 2008. Djokovic has to really step it up next year, other wise he will go the way of hewitt, safin etc. Murray is the real exciting prospect for 2009, next being Tsonga. I don’t think Tsonga can remain injury free, so my bets are on Murray being the next no 1. But not in 2009. I think nadal and fed will battle it out one more year.

If Fed wins the AUS open, he will really take it to nadal the rest of the year, since he would be relatively pressure free, having reached 14 slams. Of course, both players have to be healthy.

I still wouldn’t count out Fed at the Wimbledon, or the US Open next couple of years. Or Nadal at the French the next couple of years. So murray would really have to snatch it from these guys, which he is capable of.


“I still wouldn’t count out Fed at the Wimbledon,”

Definitely not. He only lost by virtually a coin toss. That match had no true loser.

gulu Says:

JJFAN, I want to thank you for such kind words for Fed with reference to this year’s Wimby final ! :-o Unfortunately however Rafa without doubt took the Wimby crown away from Fed. :-(

Shanghai, here we come, with just a touch of pain and fatigue | Australian Open Tennis Says:

[...] the fact that the match-ups don’t seem as exciting as they could have been, what with the withdrawal of world number one Rafael Nadal, and injuries plaguing most of the [...]

liberty fernando Says:

I love Roger very much as a player…though ive seen his last game with simon seems his not that well.. but im still hoping he will regain his title..more power Federer…..

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