Rafael Nadal will withdraw from the upcoming National Bank Open in Montreal as he continues to suffer from a stomach injury.
Nadal said in a statement via Tennis Canada (h/t ATP Tour):
“I’ve been practicing without serving for a while and started serving four days ago. Everything went well. But yesterday, after my normal exercise, I felt a slight burden on my stomach and today it was still there.
“After talking to my doctor, we prefer to do it conservatively and give it a few more days before we start competing. I want to thank Eugene, the tournament director, and his entire team for understanding and supporting me and this decision.
“I am very sad to finally not travel to Montreal. It’s a tournament that I’ve won 5 times and I love playing there. I really hope I can get back there and play in front of the great crowd there.”
Spanish newspaper Brand (H/t ESPN’s Simon Cambers) reported during Wimbledon in July that Nadal had a 7 millimeter tear in one of his abs.
The world number three reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals, beating Taylor Fritz 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (10-4). However, he was unable to compete in a scheduled semi-final clash with Australian Nick Kyrgios due to the abdominal injury.
Nadal has not competed since he withdrew from the Wimbledon semi-finals.
The Spaniard has claimed five titles in Canada. He has won three events in Montreal and two in Toronto during his storied career, with his last win in the country in the 2019 Canadian Open.
Despite the abdominal injury and missing April all year with a stress fracture to his rib sustained in a match against compatriot 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 the French Open at Roland Garros to capture 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 will not remain vaccinated against COVID-19 and will not be 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 big event on the tennis circuit comes later this month at the US Open. Nadal’s status ahead of the tournament, which he last won in 2019, remains unclear.