World number one Rafael Nadal on Wednesday pulled out of tournaments in Beijing and Shanghai due to the right knee injury that forced him to retire from the US Open.
Nadal, 32, withdrew during his semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro in New York and also missed Spain’s Davis Cup defeat by France last weekend.
The 17 time Grand Slam winner said he made the decision to stay away from the Chinese leg of the circuit after visiting doctors in Barcelona on Monday.
“While the annoyances on my knee are nothing new, we have decided together with my medical and technical team not to participate in the Asian tour to recover the knee the way we have always done,” Nadal said.
“I’m sorry I can’t be with all the fans in China and with the organisers of the Beijing and Shanghai tournaments that have always had a great relationship with me and my team.”
Last season Nadal beat Nick Kyrgios to claim the Beijing crown and lost in the final in Shanghai to Roger Federer.
Missing both tournaments next month leaves the way open for Novak Djokovic to finish 2018 top of the ATP world rankings.