Rafael Nadal is withdrawing from the upcoming National Bank Open in Montreal as he continues to deal with an abdominal injury.
Nadal said in a statement via Tennis Canada (h/t ATP Tour):
“I have been practicing for a while now without serving and started with serves four days ago. Everything has been going well. However yesterday, after my normal practice, I felt a slight bother on my abdominal and today it was still there.
“After speaking with my doctor, we prefer to take things in a conservative way and give a few more days before starting to compete. I would like to thank Eugene, the Tournament Director, and all his team for understanding and supporting me and this decision.
“I am very sad not to finally travel to Montréal. It’s a tournament that I have won 5 times and I love to play there. I seriously hope I can come back there to play in front of the amazing crowds up there.”
Spanish newspaper Marca (h/t ESPN's Simon Cambers) reported in July during Wimbledon that Nadal had a 7-millimeter tear in one of his abdominal muscles.
The World No. 3 reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals, where he defeated Taylor Fritz 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (10-4). However, he was unable to compete in a scheduled semifinal clash with Australian Nick Kyrgios due to the abdominal injury.
Nadal has not competed since withdrawing from the Wimbledon semifinals.
The Spaniard has claimed five titles in Canada. He has won three events in Montreal and two in Toronto over his legendary career, with his last victory in the country coming in the 2019 Canadian Open.
Despite the abdominal injury and missing all of April with a stress fracture in his rib suffered in a match against countryman Carlos Alcaraz at Indian Wells in March, Nadal has still enjoyed an impressive 2022 campaign.
The 36-year-old is 35-3 and won the Australian Open in Melbourne and French Open at Roland Garros to capture sole possession of the most Grand Slam titles in men's history with 22.
In addition to Nadal, Novak Djokovic also withdrew from the National Bank Open. He remains unvaccinated against COVID-19 and isn't eligible to enter Canada without being fully vaccinated.
Alcaraz, Kyrgios, Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas and world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev will be the players to watch in Montreal with Nadal and Djokovic out of the tournament.
The next major event in the tennis circuit comes later this month at the U.S. Open. Nadal's status for the tournament, which he last won in 2019, remains unclear.