Things are not improving for Rafael Nadal as he withdrew from Western and Southern Open due to the prevailing knee injury. Last Grand Slam of the season i.e. US Open is now almost two weeks away and Nadal has been still unable to regain match fitness.
The world number three announced this news through facebook and twitter on Thursday night. He wrote, “Hi all, another message to announce something that definitely doesn’t make me happy but unfortunately I won’t be competing at the tournament in Cincinnati next week. I am still not ready to play. I have many fans in Cincy and unforgettable moments such as 2008. I am continuing with my recup (recovery) and practice. Thanks.”
Nadal has not played any competitive match since his surprise loss at the hands of the then world number 100 Lukas Rosol of Czech Republic in the second round of Wimbledon Championships at the end of June.
The Spaniard has withdrawn from three key events since then. First, he pulled out of the London Olympics, where he was supposed to defend his Gold Medal that he had won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Then he withdrew from Rogers Cup and now the Western and Southern Open.
Rogers Cup and Western and Southern Open are the two ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events which provide match practice for the US Open.
Tournament organizers were also disappointed on the news of withdrawal of one of the most famous tennis players in the world.
Tournament director Vince Cicero said, “We’re certainly disappointed that Rafa won’t be able to play in Cincinnati this year. He’s one of the great competitors in the sport and he will be sorely missed.”
Nadal had reached the quarter-finals at the Western and Southern Open last year, losing to Mardy Fish in straight sets. The Spaniard has never won the title in Cincinnati, giving his best performance in 2008 when he advanced to the semi-finals.
Chances are now looking bleak that Nadal would be able to participate in this year’s US Open. If the Spanish star fails to regain fitness in time for the last Grand Slam of the season and pull out, it would put a huge effect on his ranking. Great Britain’s Andy Murray will the surely overtake Nadal, who would go down to the fourth position.