Rafael Nadal is in doubt to appear at the World Tour Finals in London after pulling out of the Paris Masters.
The Spaniard played against Pablo Cuevas on Thursday with his knee strapped up, but he told a press conference on Friday of his injury struggles.
Per The Guardian, he said: "The pain during the match was too much. The way that I am today I do not see myself playing three more matches. The knee is always bothering me a little bit but sometimes it’s worse. For me it’s not about London, it’s about the longer term."
Nadal's career has come to be defined by injuries in recent years. The 31-year-old battled wrist problems in 2014 that caused him to miss the U.S. Open, and he ended his season prematurely in October that year to undergo appendix surgery.
In 2015, Nadal won just three singles titles and failed to make it past the quarterfinals at any of the four Grand Slam tournaments during the season. He had won five consecutive French Open titles from 2010-14.
Last year was another injury-plagued season for Nadal. He missed June and July before returning for the Olympics, where he made a run to the semifinals before Juan Martin del Potro defeated him. He then lost the bronze-medal match to Japanese star Kei Nishikori.
Nadal started this season ranked No. 9 in the world, but a resurgent year—in which he has won the French Open and the U.S. Open and reached the Australian Open final—will see him end 2017 as the world No. 1, even if he has played his last match.
Given the troubles he has faced in staying healthy in recent years, he is perhaps wise to prioritise the long term and skip the World Tour Finals as a precaution, with the hope it allows him to enjoy another strong season next year.