For the second year in a row, for the same reason, Rafael Nadal will not play the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati this week. The Spanish player has withdrawn citing fatigue after an intense week at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, where he retained his title defeating Daniil Medvedev in a championship clash.
Nadal played only four matches and not five, because of Gael Monfils's forfeit in the semifinals, and he was on court for six hours and 45 minutes overall. But at 33 years of age playing two hard-court events in a row before such a tiring Grand Slam like the US Open is almost impossible for the 18-time Grand Slam winner, who last competed in Cincinnati in 2017 losing to Nick Kyrgios in the quarter-finals.
Nadal triumphed in Cincinnati in 2013 defeating John Isner in a straight-set final. He will probably stay in the United States to take a rest before coming back to practice in New York, where he retired during his semifinals match against Juan Martin del Potro being two sets to love down.
Cincinnati will still feature a great field with Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray all coming back in the singles draw. Nadal made his debut in Cincinnati back in 2004 losing to the then world No. 16 Juan Ignacio Chela in the third set tie-break. Chela now coaches Diego Schwartzman.