Just 3 months ago Rafael Nadal was quite the force to be reckoned with and following his record breaking seventh win at the French Open it seemed that the Wimbledon Championships and the Olympic Games would be his for the taking. Sadly it wasn’t to be, and the knee injury that’s followed him around all season has reared its head once more preventing him from competing at the Western & Southern Open on Thursday.
Taking to his Facebook page last week Rafa told fans that he wouldn’t be appearing in Cincinnati this week. Describing it as “something that definitely doesn’t make me happy”, the Spaniard went on to say “I’m still not ready to play. I have many fans in Cincy and unforgettable moments such as 2008. I am continuing with my (recovery) and practice.”
So far this season Rafa has had to drop out of both the Olympics and the Rogers Cup due to his ongoing knee injury, and he also had to cancel a charity match against world number 2 Novak Djokovic earlier in the summer. Always a fan favourite in the Masters tournament in Cincinnati, it’s not only Nadal who is disappointed with being unable to play as tournament director Vince Cicero confirmed “He’s one of the great competitors in the sport…we’re certainly disappointed that Rafa won’t be able to play in Cincinnati this year.”
Although we wait with bated breath for King of Clay to confirm whether he will be fit enough to compete at the upcoming US Open, fans at the Western & Southern Open won’t be disappointed with the line. Rafa is the only male player in the ATP top ten to not be competing this year and Olympic gold medallists Andy Murray and Serena Williams will be leading the field of the world’s greatest male and female tennis players.