Second seed Rafael Nadal will not be competing at this year’s National Bank Open Presented by Rogers. The tournament announced the news on Tuesday stating the reason for the withdrawal was his left foot injury.
The 20-time Grand Slam Champion has now been replaced by fellow Spanish player Feliciano Lopez, who was able to cash in on Nadal’s ill fate after losing the qualifying rounds. The 39-year-old will clash against Lloyd Harris in the second round.
His foot has troubled him for months. “I have had this issue for a couple of months, as people know,” claimed Nadal. The decision to withdraw from the tournament was collectively taken by him and his team.
Rafael Nadal missed that tournament last year but bagged the winning title for the tournament in 2019. He really seemed to be looking forward to this one but odds were against him this time.
“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,” he said.
The four-time U.S Open Champion will return to Mallorca to work on himself and make a comeback at his earliest. “I need to go back and try to find a way to be better again,” he said. He is definitely in need of some rest and proper physical treatment.
Rafael Nadal is among those who believe in doing what they enjoy. This is evident from his recent speech too. “At the end of the day, for me, the most important thing is to enjoy playing tennis. Today, with this pain, I am not able to enjoy it, and I don’t believe that I have the chance to fight for the things that I need to fight for,” the Spanish superstar said.
Nadal’s left foot injury was the reason behind him missing Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics. He cleared that this was a much-needed break for his body after the much demanding Clay Court season.
The Spaniard lefty returned to the Citi just a week before. He played at the hard-court event in Washington. Battling through his opening match, he took a lead against Jack Snow and lost to Lloyd Harris. Nadal was bothered by his foot in those matches too.
With a heavy heart, the tennis star had to step back from what he wanted the most at the time. He decided to prefer his physical well-being over any other thing. “I really wanted to play here a lot, but now is the moment to make a decision,” Nadal said.
The 35-year old is himself not sure of when the comeback is expected. “This is, unfortunately, the decision that I have taken, and probably in the next couple of days we are going to know more.” Further clarifications on this are still to be made but