Updates from Monday, Aug. 18
Rafael Nadal has announced he will not defend his U.S. Open crown due to his ongoing recovery from a wrist injury.
Nadal announced the news on his official Twitter account:
Siento anunciar que no podré participar en el US Open, torneo en el que en los últimos años he tenido muy buenos... http://t.co/ryV4CzWCBh— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) August 18, 2014
Russell Fuller of BBC Sport summarised Nadal's update:
Rafa Nadal announces he's "very sorry" not to be able to defend his US Open title next week - his right wrist has not healed sufficiently— Russell Fuller (@russellcfuller) August 18, 2014
Just over five months since returning to the court from a back injury, Rafael Nadal has reportedly been sidelined by a wrist injury. He will apparently pull out of both the Canada and Cincinnati Masters tournaments.
Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times broke the news on Nadal:
BREAKING: Rafael Nadal injured himself in practice yesterday and is pulling out of Canada+Cincinnati Masters (he's defending champ at both).— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) July 30, 2014
Not clear at moment what Nadal's US Open prognosis is (defending champ there, too). He's defending 4000 ranking points in just three events.— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) July 30, 2014
Rothenberg later reported the exact injury:
More specifically, tests found "a small detachment of posterior sheath of the right ulnar wrist" in Nadal. Immobilization (cast) 2-3 weeks.— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) July 30, 2014
The 14-time Grand Slam winner spoke about the injury, per CincyTennis.com:
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. 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 has been riddled with injuries throughout his stellar career but started off the year strong. After falling in the Australian Open final, the "King of Clay" defended his crown by winning a fifth straight French Open.
While he fell in the fourth round at Wimbledon, he was still playing at a high level at the All England Club. Though Grand Slams are clearly the focus for players like Nadal, Daz Plant of Sports Mole notes why this injury hurts the Spaniard:
Sounds like Rafael Nadal could potentially miss the entire US swing. He's defending 4000 ranking points. Huge blow.— Daz Plant (@Dazman5) July 30, 2014
His withdrawal also creates a ripple effect for other players heading into upcoming tournaments, as Canada's Tennis News notes:
For Milos Raonic and the rest of the field in the two Masters tournaments, it appears the bracket is now wide open. Without Nadal in the running, that simply makes one less top contender for some of the young talent to emerge on the court.
As Rothenberg points out, there has been no announcement about Nadal's status for the U.S. Open. With the withdrawal from both Masters events, the Spaniard might have time to recover ahead of the tournament, but nothing is certain at this point.
The 2014 U.S. Open officially kicks off on Aug. 25, and Nadal is the defending champion. After winning the French Open, a win in the final Grand Slam of the season would give him two major victories in a year for the fourth time in his career.
Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.