By E.J. Crawford
Rogers Cup and Western & Southern Open defending champion Rafael Nadal has had to withdraw from both events due to a right wrist injury suffered in practice.
The Spanish left-hander, who uses a two-handed backhand, swept both events in 2013 en route to his second career Emirates Airline US Open Series title. He then went on to win the 2013 US Open, becoming just the third man in the Open era – joining Patrick Rafter (1998) and Andy Roddick (2003) – to sweep all three events in a single summer.
"Unfortunately I injured my right wrist yesterday during practice and after the tests I have undergone today in Spain, including an MRI, and checking with my doctors, I will have to stay out of competition for at least 2-3 weeks,” Nadal said in a statement released by the Western & Southern Open. “I am sorry and wish the best to the tournament and thank all of the fans for their support. I'm extremely disappointed that I am unable to defend my titles and compete in Toronto and Cincinnati this year. I was looking forward to coming and playing again after my great results last year."
Nadal is one of five players to withdraw from Cincinnati due to injury, joining Nicolas Almagro (foot), Alexandr Dolgopolov (knee), Tommy Haas (shoulder) and Florian Mayer (groin). The withdrawals have allowed five players direct entry into the field, headlined by 2001 US Open champion No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt. Also joining the field are Julien Benneteau, Denis Istomin, Yen-Hsun Lu and Gilles Simon.
Twenty-three of the Top 25 players on the ATP World Tour remain entered in the Western & Southern Open, and the Top 39 in the WTA rankings are all on the initial entry list for the women's tournament.
The men’s event of the Rogers Cup, held this year in Toronto, will now feature eight of the Top 10 men in the world, including world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, five-time US champion Roger Federer and Canadian standout Milos Raonic. With Nadal’s withdrawal, 2012 US Open champion Andy Murray moves into the No. 8 seed, giving him a first-round bye.
Information from the Western & Southern Open and the Rogers Cup Toronto were used in compiling this report.