The draw for the ATP Tour event in Montreal will be late this afternoon.
And there might well be more withdrawals.
But news of the biggest one came Friday morning.
Rafael Nadal will not be in the house at the Omnium Banque Nationale.
Here’s his quote.
“I have been practising for a while now without serving and started with serves 4 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,” said Rafael Nadal. “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 Eugène, 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.”
American Mackenzie McDonald will now be straight into the main draw without having to qualify.
The “defending Montreal champion”
Nadal won the OBN (then the Rogers Cup) in 2019, the last time the men were in Montreal. So he is, in a sense, the “defending champion” as the tournament wasn’t played in 2020, and the men were in Toronto last year.
He also won it in 2018, in Toronto.
In all, Nadal has won it five times – he also held up the trophy in 2005 and 2013 in Montreal, and in Toronto in 2008.
It’s the second straight year that Nadal has withdrawn late – last year, it was after the draw was made, with his left foot. And it’s the second consecutive year that there is no “Big 3” member in the tournament.
Nadal had not intended to play Cincinnati. But perhaps this setback might change that schedule before the US Open.