Rafael Nadal announces withdrawal from Cincinnati

Just hours after winning his fourth Rogers Cup title, Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the Cincinnati event which began today.

The world No. 1 had been handed a bye for the first round of the Cincinnati tournament but announced on his social media accounts that he would not be competing in the event.

Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire

Rafa’s statement:

I am very sorry to announce that I won’t be playing in Cincinnati this year. No other reason than personally taking care of my body and trying to keep as healthy as I feel now.

I am very thankful to my friend Andre Silva, Tournament Director of the Cincinnati tournament, who after speaking to him on the phone understood what I said and understands the situation.

I am sure the tournament will be a success and I wish him and his team all the best.

I am also sad for those amazing fans in Cincy and around who always gave me great support. I am sure I’ll see them next year and I am sorry I won’t be with them this year.

Thanks for all the support as always.

We’re glad Rafa decided to skip it as he must ensure he’s in good health for both the US Open and the indoor swing afterwards. We’re sorry for the fans who have bought tickets but our champ has to put himself first here and focus on the remainder of the season.

What do you think? Comment below.


  1. 2 years ago we came and missed Rafa, skipped last year and now this year we will be sadly missing Rafa again. Rafa for us is our favorite so it is a huge let down that he will not be here. My is from Russia and I was hoping she would get to see Rafa play live just once. I don’t know if he or we will be here next as the US open has more game then Cincy. I can’t take time off work to go to the US Open. The struggle is real for Rafa and us, I hope he does well in the US Open.

    • So sorry to read this:( I’ve been in a position where I’ve had tickets and he’s not been able to play so I know how it feels but I’ve been lucky enough to see him a few times. I really hope your family gets to see him at least once. Like all true fans you understand he needs to slow down and wish him the best regardless. Not much I can say but chin up it’s been a great season for Rafa and us fans overall:)

    • Sorry to hear this news, Ryan. I was in the same position last year with a different tournament. I was so personally disappointed while at that same time understanding and wishing Rafa well. A very tricky feeling for a fan!
      I don’t know how you feel about the other players, but Cinci has a stellar line-up this year, so hopefully that will be some consolation for you. Best wishes to you and your family, and I hope you get to see some fabulous tennis.

  2. Great decision Rafa, I was thinking the same thing. Get same rest so you will be rested to defend your US crown.#VAMOSRAFA

  3. Rafa is smart, as always, to take care of his health first, especially in hard court season since it is so hard on his body. As he gets older his future health must come first. He must be healthy to enjoy his life and the fruits of his labor. Looking forward to US Open and wish him the best as always. Vamos Rafa!!!! ❤️❤️❤️

  4. fabulous decision, the rest is more important….winning this tournament after not playing hard courts since australia proves you can and will conquer the us open……and hopefully you can do you laver cup after the open and davis cup…that was a thrill last year….see you in nyc

  5. It is great to see him healthy in the USO.
    Congrats for Rogers & expecting, hoisting it again @ Flushing Mwdows.
    Wise Decision Rafa.

  6. He has made the right decision. If I had bought tickets to see him in Cinncy I’d be gutted though. He has to think about himself first and foremost.

  7. Really smart decision. It takes a different kind of mental strength to *not* do something… As we know, Rafa is a “doer” and it must be so hard for him to deliberately miss tournaments when he’s so in love with playing. However, it seems that he really has assimilated his experience now, and distilled it down to the simple “if I don’t stop myself, my body will stop me”. Correct. It is great to see him and his team make a strong and wise decision such as this. Have a good break, Raf!

  8. Rafa you have made a VERY wise decision.

    Have a great rest and relaxation,

    Love and prayers,


  9. Ok…Rafa…el cuerpo tiene k descansar y recuperarse…suerte y exito para el US OPEN…siempre contigo!!!!!

  10. Wise decision from our champ 🤗
    Take care sweet Rafa and have a good rest to be ready for the U.S. Open.
    All the best ❤️🍀

    VAMOS! 🎾💪🏼😘🥇

    • Rafantastic, I believe it was you who met David Ferrer. I can still see him battling at Spain’s Davis Cup semifinal.

      I thought he was much younger than 36 so I was surprised and a little saddened to read that he may be retiring.

      “I never refused the training session, when I don’t practice it’s because I am obliged to take a rest. Without any doubt a part of me is going away, now I play without expectations. I note that this chapter of my life is coming to an end. Next year I will play some tournaments through wild card, the ones I like, and we will see when and where I will retire. I would like to retire at home, at Godò (Barcelona) or Madrid. It’s a journey. I want to live this year’s US Open like if it was my last Grand Slam.”
      [Source: Luigi Gatto]

      He is still young and, with a baby on board I’m sure he will have a busy retirement. I think he has a tennis academy. If he can impart his many great qualities to his students they will turn out fine.

      He will be missed on tour I’m sure.

  11. Good for you. We want to see you playing longer in years. So great congratulations on your win. Health comes first

  12. ! A healthy and fresh Rafa is a dangerous Rafa! Watch out everyone. King will be back at US open. Meanwhile wishing everyone else a good tournament at Cincinnati. Go ahead and exhaust each other to the maximum. While we rafans will be relaxing 😁

  13. Pls skip Beijing and if possible Shanghai..akip Basel too..play Paris which will be a tune up to yec..win it this time Rafa!! god willing!!

    • It is so great that I think all of us Rafans are happy with this decision! I too always love to see Rafa play, but this was the right decision for his future. Rafa did not renew his contract with Basel and the director made what I consider were snarky comments about Rafa not being able to play. This was due to injuries and I considered them inappropriate.

      • va4favre, I read something about Rafa’s Basel contract not being renewed allegedly because he withdrew 3 times in 5 years; 2013, 2016 and ‘17 while under contract. The original article is in German so nothing in my comment can be verified as far as I can tell.

        Basel tournament director Roger Brennwald said he understood that players do get injured but thought this was a bit much BECAUSE he felt Rafa could have played less tournaments in 2017 in order to be fit for Basel.

        A player can’t predict an injury but it is also common knowledge Rafa is not usually at his best at season’s end.

        Supposedly Herwig Straka of the Vienna tournament was-or-is in ongoing negotiations with Rafa’s management team to sign Rafa on to play there.

        I think negotiations should be kept confidential. It is understandable that Brennwald would be upset that Rafa couldn’t play in 2017 but why he was so upset, I feel, should have been said directly to Rafa and his management team, not the press.

        RAFA ROCKS

  14. I am so happy Rafa is skipping Cincinnati
    Hard courts are not good for his body and i would really like to see him skip Asian swing too so he can truly compete and win the year end finals

  15. Love u Rafa!! U heard my prayer..God listens to everything..thank u for the withdrawal..Now off to flushing Meadows bring it on!!!! Vamos Rafa!!

    • Pls skip Beijing and if possible Shanghai..play Paris which will be a tune up to yec..win it this time with wise scheduling.

  16. I don’t blame him at all, especially after treating him the way they did last year, expecting him to play 2 matches on the same day…Plus I would rather see him healthy and fresh for the U.S. Open, and making them play twice in a day, that does not help!
    Why couldn’t they have finished on Monday instead & pushed it out a day so he wouldn’t have had to do that??

    Excellent move Rafa!!
    See you at Flushing Meadows! And congratulations today on winning the Rogers cup! There’s no one more inspirational and talented in any sport thank you, in my opinion!

    • Steven Blevins, I am happy it is not about the mistreatment of Rafa. Many tennis players have had to play more than one match in one day, and they will continue to do so unless the rules are changed. Depending on the tournament level, a mandatory rest period between two matches played the same day is between half-an-hour and two hours, or something close to that.

      I was crazed years ago when Rafa was required to play two matches the same day. When I read the rules I was happy he had a lot more than the minimum hours required.

      On Friday, most of the remaining players had to play their third round and quarterfinal matches only a few hours apart. Unfortunate yes but Mother Nature rules when there is no roof.

      I don’t recall the length of Rafa’s rest period last year at Cincy but it was within regulations. Usually the rest period is longer than the minimum. As a fan, I don’t like him playing two matches the same day.

  17. So happy for Rafa for winning his 4th Roger’s Cup making it the most successful hard court tournament in his career. Also, I’m even more glad he is taking the extra time off to rest and recover his body in order to defend his US Open title by not playing Cincy now. Rest well and come back to get that 18th slam Rafa! Loves you very much and congrats on your 33rd Master 100 win!



      • :O We may be long lost relatives ! lol

        Yes what a coincidence, but we both have good wishes for Rafa and that is most important!


  18. Rsfa knows whats best for him . I woild have loved seeing him tske this title but I think winning the US Open Grand Slam outweighs taking the Cinncinnati ATP 1000 by a long shit . Vamos Rafa .

    • Agree! I was hoping he would take the week off for rest and recovery before USOpen. Congratulations, Rafa!!

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