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Struggling Nadal shuts down 2016 season

MADRID: Former world number one and 14-time Grand Slam title winner Rafael Nadal shut down his season on Thursday to concentrate instead on recovering full fitness for a fresh trophy assault in 2017.

The 30-year-old has been plagued by physical problems and has now gone through a second successive campaign without adding to his majors collection.

A wrist injury forced him to withdraw from the French Open before the third round and kept him on the sidelines until the Olympics.

“It is no secret that I arrived to the Olympic Games short of preparation and not fully recovered, but the goal was to compete and win a medal for Spain.

This forced recovery has caused me pain since then and now I am forced to stop and start preparing the 2017 season,” Nadal wrote on Facebook.

Nadal, ranked at six in the world, suffered a shock second round defeat to Victor Troicki at the Shanghai Masters last week.

But he had been due to play in Basel next week and then the Paris Masters. He was also well-placed to qualify for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.

“I am very saddened for not being able to play next week in Basel since I have a great memory of the tournament and the final played against Roger Federer last year,” added Nadal.

“I won’t be able to compete either in Paris-Bercy, where the crowds and the staff have always treated me so well. Now it is time to rest and start preparing intensively the 2017 season.”

Nadal’s longtime rival Federer, the holder of a record 17 Grand Slam titles, called time on his season in July after suffering a knee injury.

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