Rafael Nadal pulls out of Cincinnati

(Reuters) – Rafael Nadal’s U.S. Open preparations have suffered another setback after the Spaniard withdrew from next week’s Cincinnati hardcourt event with a nagging foot issue, organisers of the Masters 1000 tournament said on Wednesday.

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Nadal suffered a shock exit last week in Washington, where he kicked off his lead-up to the U.S. Open, and on Tuesday pulled out of the ongoing Masters 1000 event in Toronto with a left-foot issue.

In his pre-tournament news conference in Toronto on Sunday, Nadal said a recurring foot issue he has been dealing with since 2005 returned at the French Open, where he fell to eventual champion Djokovic in the semi-finals. 

When discussing his Toronto withdrawal Nadal, who also sat out Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, said: “With this pain, I am not able to enjoy, and I really don’t believe that I have chances to fight for the things that I really need to fight.”

The U.S. Open runs from Aug. 30-Sept. 12.

Source: Reuters


  1. Not long ago I had a dream about Rafa.

    Rafa was on his Great White, which was encircled by a bevy of media outlets, in the middle of the Mediterranean. He had an announcement to make and decided that is where he would make it.

    He said he had just won his court case and will be allowed to continue his tennis career. He was being sued by fans of his opponents because they held that a bionic foot was an undue advantage and against the rules. Rafa said it’s only a foot and was happy with his decision to get a bionic foot, not knowing if it would work out. He said he has been pain free and working to get back to match fitness. He had one of his biggest smiles on display as he thanked his family, team, fans and friends for their support.

    The court said Rafa would still have to know how to play tennis. It looked at his world number one record which happened over and over again, he has been in the top ten seemingly forever, is a twenty-time Grand Slam winner, and an Olympics 2X- gold medalist. The court dismissed the case, with prejudice, saying plaintiffs failed to prove “undue advantage.”

    When I awoke, all I could think of was that Rafa’s lawyers didn’t have to do much in the way of looking for evidence to fight the suit. His lawyers used Rafa’s titles as evidence, all facts and no fiction.


  2. rafa will also pull out from AO 2022, he will sart fresh after AO 2022…..i hope rafa will recover soon with his foot injury….but he also has to get to his A game after that…its hard but with rafa u can beleive it it can happen

  3. Always with you Rafa, no matter how tough the situation is . Take proper rest and come back stronger than ever, we’ll be waiting for you.

  4. We knew this was coming any day now…. I am glad that he is on his feet and that he will have some form of “fun” in playing the golf tournament this weekend… But most of all, Rafa is keeping a positive attitude about his return to tennis…. He credits Dr Cotorro with his recovery year after year and now it seems they have a new strategy in rehabbing his foot…
    I want Rafa to lead a pain free life and if it means he needs to step away from competitive tennis, then so be it… But…here is a big BUT…. his passion and desire is larger than life and if there is a way Rafa Nadal can come back to the tour and play 100% pain free… then he will…. Only time will tell….

    Until then… Take care of yourself Rafa…. I will miss you soooo much at the Open…
    It hurts just thinking about it…

      • You know he doesn’t give any details… I just got a sense from his Instagram video that he’s under a doctors care with the end game being a return to tennis… The strategy includes stopping all tennis for the rest of the year and whatever else Dr Cotorro has up his sleeve…

      • Thanks Marileena, that’s still good news even without the details and I hope he can can continue his career if he wants to.

  5. Although it was the news we all expected, I’m glad Rafa could tell us so directly. It’s not good news, but it was nice just to see him and hear him sounding positive. I hope he can find a way and I completely trust him to do everything he can.

    At least the injury isn’t preventing him from doing normal things, because being stuck at home is a depressing thing for most people let alone a top athlete. As Margo mentioned, pain is mentally debilitating and that was what caused Rafa’s problems before the start of the clay season in 2019. He said he was sick of being in pain. There were descriptions from fans who saw him at the academy saying he couldn’t even walk up the stairs. So I’m happy to wish him good luck in the golf tournament this weekend. Vamos Rafa! 🏌️‍♂️💪🏻

  6. breaking news

    Rafa is out for the us open as expected and will not play this season. There is nothing that i can say then rest well and hopefully return back healthy but i am sceptical about his chances next year.

    I think that folks like zverev and medevedev will finally take over next year and start playing for the big titles.

    Hopefully rafa will decide that playing 4 clay court tournaments is not possible anymore because of his body and age and start only playing one. But I doubt he will do that

  7. Rafa is done for the year. He is trying a new kind of treatment for his foot injury. I think all his fans wish the best for him, always. Vamosssss!!!

  8. I agree completely with Margo. My heart also goes out to him. I’ve always thought hats off to Rafa for all he has achieved inspire of pain and injuries.
    Also about the FO. I’m sure he would’ve won had his foot been ok.
    I’d love to see Rafa return and hope it’ll happen. But his health etc is more important so let’s see …… hope and pray!

    • I have not seen where Rafa has officially pulled out of the US Open. I have searched but it only shows where he pulled out of Cincinnati & Toronto. I see him enjoying golf so maybe he will play the US Open. His diagnosis on his foot it called Muller-Weiss syndrome. Rafa was most likely born with this condition but would not have ever known about it if he hadn’t played tennis. Between his foot & knees it’s a miracle that Rafa has achieved so much … one can only imagine without those two nemesis where he would be today in the GS count. For me, like most of you, I’m so proud and grateful with Rafa’s career but feel badly that he has suffered so achieving all of it.

      • Ziggy…. He made his formal announcement today (via video) on Instagram and on Twitter as well…. There’s no question he’s been suffering for a very long time and he still wants to play in the future but he does realize only time will tell as to whether that will become a reality….

      • Thank You Marileena…I’m more sad 😥 then disappointed. Think we all needed a little Rafa fix to help with these dreadful times. I can only say Good Bless him & wish him the very best. Rafa has always come back with vengeance so we will just have to wait & see! Meanwhile Rafa sure looks adorable in his golfing attire & most of all he is enjoying himself!

  9. August of 2008 was an auspicious month for Rafa. Here’s hoping those good memories put a smile on his face.

    US Open Tennis
    Aug 18
    On this day in 2008,
    clinched the No. 1 ranking for the first time in his career.

    Later that month, the Spaniard entered the US Open as the top-seeded player. It was the first time he had been seeded No. 1 at a Grand Slam tournament.

  10. My heart goes out to Champion Rafa. For a while, I have suspected something was off with Rafa. I should have read the pain in his face: a pain too much to bear even for a high-pain threshold Rafa.

    Even though he admitted on TV that the pandemic was good for his knees but his foot was destroyed it could have been taken as nothing too serious. No one was asking about it even though he himself said his foot was destroyed. I guess the media didn’t want to get personal with Rafa.

    What is even more surprising is that I don’t see reports about the toll pain takes on someone. How years of enduring pain can affect someone mentally…pain is exhausting both mentally and physically. Pain can be DEBILITATING…mentally and physically. It can cloud one’s judgment.

    Rafa has a great team and, if I’m not mistaken, Dr. Cotorro and Rafa’s dad consulted with a specialist to try to find a way for Rafa to continue his tennis career. Nike was brought in and built a custom left shoe which has kept him at the highest level in tennis. After a few years Rafa started having knee problems and back problems because of the custom shoe. Most of you know this but I’ve included it for those fans who didn’t read his book and don’t know the history of the custom shoe.

    Yes, my heart goes out to Rafa because we knew the day would come when his foot would retaliate against an unrelenting Champion. Rafa and team have always found solutions but this is the most consequential injury that he has had to deal with.

    I, too, hope that his foot will heal and that he will again ease into his rightful place in the ATP. If he wants to play I will continue to cheer him on. While Rafa’s team is there to keep him safe and healthy it is up to Rafa to make final decisions.

    This is not the first time I will have to wait to see Rafa and I hope it’s not the last.

    • You make a good point about the debilitating effects of chronic pain Margo. Unlike his closest rivals, we know that Rafa has had to play in pain throughout his career. (Most players with his ailments would have retired long ago but he has valiantly fought on. Such is the sheer strength of his character and will. It is truly amazing that he has achieved so much, despite everything he has had to endure since he first broke onto the scene. (Lots of tennis players struggle with injuries in the course of their careers of course but I don’t recall any of the top players suffering as much as Rafa has (and I have followed professional tennis since the days of McEnroe and Borg).

      I was really troubled by the photo of him on the Homepage dated June 12 and headed “Rafa Roundup”. I wondered then whether the foot was troubling him so much in that match against Djokovic that he was beginning to think that he might never get another opportunity to win a 14th FO and a 21st Major. Extremely bad luck for him. (I truly believe that he would have beaten Djokovic that day if he had been fully fit.) I do hope I am wrong and that he is able to find a way back to full fitness but I am very worried for him.

      • Ginagigi, I too feel had Rafa been fully fit he would have won RG. Now I am worried whether or not he can rebound from this latest resurgence of his foot problem. If it is medically possible, he will do it. I am wishing him the very best in his recovery and don’t mind waiting for him to let us know how things are going.


  11. More bad news for tennis – unfortunately Dominic Thiem has re-injured his wrist after starting to to practice again. He has withdrawn from USO and won’t play again this year. He’s trying further rest, but it sounds like surgery is being considered if that doesn’t work. Wish you well, Domi.

  12. I do not understand Margint’s comments at all.How can anyone call themselves a fan and be so critical of him .We are all very upset that he can’t play and are worried for his tennis future but he will have the best medical advice and treatment .

    • I agree with you MaryR. All genuine Rafa fans are very concerned about his painful foot problem and whether it might bring a premature end to his glittering career. Most of us are hoping it won’t come to that and prefer to stay positive whilst Rafa explores his options. (I hardly dare to contemplate what the ATP Tour will be like without Rafa!)

      The fact is that some of us are natural optimists, some of us are realists and the rest of us (a tiny but very vocal minority) are natural pessimists. I wish I fell into the first category (optimists do tend to be happy souls) but I believe I am a realist at heart. Thankfully, I am not a pessimist (who tend to be sad souls). It is the pessimists who have already concluded that Rafa is “on his way out”, as though it is a foregone conclusion.

      Those who relentlessly criticise Rafa’s decisions and/or play believe they know better than Rafa and his Team what he should do or not do. They don’t and can’t know that. Whilst everyone on this site is entitled to express an honestly held opinion about what they would like Rafa to do on court or in his career, they should nevertheless always choose their words with care, to avoid causing offence. (They should also resist the temptation to say the same thing again and again, because a point well-made does not need to be continually repeated). I believe that Rafa has earned and deserves our total respect and admiration; and, as “rafafans”, surely he can reasonably expect our loyalty and support too. We shall miss him dearly when he does retire.

      Those who can’t do that should simply transfer their allegiance elsewhere. I am sure there are plenty of other sites out there where disrespecting others (and winding people up in the process) is the ‘name of the game’.

    • Mary R,

      what is wrong in your opinion with a critical rafa fan. I have been a rafa fan since 2005. Dont you think that my critism is legimitate.

  13. Are Roger and Rafa coordinating their announcements of bad news? Roger last week and Rafa fhis week? It makes for a sad period for long time fans.

    And respectfully please spare me the endless debates on whether Rafa doesn’t play enough or plays too much.

    Rafa won two tournaments this year and lost early in Monte Carlo and Madrid. How could that be too much playing time? He had not played at all after Australia and obviously needed the work. Rafa looked good in Rome and only lost one set at the FO until the semi final. Who can say whether he might have beat Djokovic but for the foot pain?

    So give Rafa and his fans a break. Its Rafa’s health and Rafa’s career. Let him make the decisions.

    • I wholeheartedly agree David. Rafa has always been and remains a truly outstanding and unique player. He is a dedicated professional and knows how to get the best out of himself. We do not. We should respect his decisions about where, when, and indeed how often to play. I know I do and always have. It seems that a tiny minority on this site believe they know better. They don’t.

  14. Some journalists needs to start to ask you some tough questions to tennisplayers. For example if i would have been a journalist and have the opportunity to interview nadal. I would seriously ask him why at the age of 35 he still thinks in order to be prepared for the french open he needs to play 4 clay court tournaments instead of one. And is he not blowing up his body by keep doing that and then giving a lid on the rest of the season

  15. Roger has just announced that he will have another knee surgery and miss many months. He hopes to give himself a chance to come back in some shape or form. That remains to be seen. Wishing him the best but he should come to terms with the fact that while the spirit is willing the flesh is weak. Life will go on without tennis.

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