Andy Murray's former coach and former British player Petchey says it is doubtful but thinks Nadal is more willing to do so than Federer before their careers end.
The 36-year-old returned to action in June when the grass court season began at the Eastbourne Open and went on to win further titles at Halle and a record eighth Wimbledon title.
Last week, Nadal had extended his winning run to 12 straight after defeating Australia's Nick Kyrgios 6-2, 6-1 in what turned out to be a one-sided summit clash in Beijing. The final is on Sunday.
"Rafa would have been a little keener I definitely think to play doubles. I'm used to playing 70, 90, 100 matches a season, so this year that's not the case", the 19-time men's singles Grand Slam victor explained.
Nadal and Federer are both in contention for the season-ending No. 1 ranking, although only Nadal can clinch that honor this week.
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"Now I am No.1".
There is no doubt that Nadal was the huge favorite for this match and was expected by most people with some ease, though few could have predicted that the Spaniard would completely tear the American apart with one of his best performances on hard courts this year.
He said on the eve of the match that he has learnt to adapt his playing style as he reaches the climax of one of the great tennis careers.
On a less lighter note, Donaldson said of playing Nadal: "You want to play against the best and see how your game stacks up". That's an important thing for me, and I feel lucky for that.
Federer, chasing his 94th ATP title, found his rhythm as the match progressed to beat Argentine Diego Schwartzman 7-6 (7-4), 6-4. Nadal and Federer could meet in a potential final scenario for the 38th time, which is anticipated this year in Shanghai.
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