Rafael Nadal Withdraws from National Bank Open Because of Foot Injury

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIAugust 10, 2021

Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reacts during a match against Lloyd Harris, of South Africa, in the Citi Open tennis tournament, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, in Washington. Harris won 6-4, 1-6, 6-4. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
AP Photo/Nick Wass

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the National Bank Open with a left foot injury.

"I really wanted to play here a lot, but now is the moment to make a decision, and this is unfortunately the decision that I have taken," Nadal told reporters in Toronto.

"I have had this issue for a couple of months, as people know," Nadal continued. "Of course, it is not a happy situation after all the success that I had here in Canada, not being able to play this year after missing a year. It’s a tough one, but that's how it is today."

As Arash Madani of Sportsnet noted, this is the same injury that was aggravated in Nadal's French Open semifinal loss to Novak Djokovic. The 35-year-old also missed Wimbledon and the Summer Olympics, citing his reasoning on Twitter:

Rafa Nadal @RafaelNadal

The goal is to prolong my career and continue to do what makes me happy, that is to compete at the highest level and keep fighting for those professional and personal goals at he maximum level of competition.

Rafa Nadal @RafaelNadal

Sport prevention of any kind of excess in my body is a very important factor at this stage of my career in order to try to keep fighting for the highest level of competition and titles.

Rafa Nadal @RafaelNadal

The Olympic Games always meant a lot and they were always a priority as a Sports person, I found the spirit that every sports person in the world wants to live. I personally had the chance to live 3 of them and had the honor to be the flag bearer for my country.β€œ

The Spaniard has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles.

He's a 13-time French Open champion and four-time U.S. Open winner who has also taken down Wimbledon twice and the Australian Open once.

Injuries have slowed down Nadal this year. He withdrew from the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament with a back injury in February. He also withdrew from the Miami Open in March, citing a need for his body to recover in time for the clay-court season.

Nadal's last appearance was at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C., where he fell to Lloyd Harris in the round of 16 last Thursday.

As for what's next, that's currently unknown, per Nadal to reporters:

"I don't know. I'm gonna check. Just taken my decision. The main thing now is that I'm not able to play here, something that I feel bad for it. I really wanted to play here a lot, but now is the moment to take a decision, and that's unfortunately the decision that I taked, and probably in the next couple of days we're gonna know more."

The Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati is the next ATP tournament on the slate. The U.S. Open is scheduled to begin on Aug. 30.