Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal has sustained a right wrist injury that prevents him from defending his Canadian Open and Cincinnati titles and seriously jeopardizes his chances at the U.S. Open, which he also won last year.
Benito Perez-Barbadillo, the press agent for the 28-year-old world No. 2, delivered the news in a statement.
Nadal swept the major North American hard-court tournaments in 2013, defeating Canadian Milos Raonic in the final of the Canadian Open, played last year in Montreal; American John Isner in the Cincinnati final; and current world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the U.S. Open championship match.
The rankings gap between Nadal and Djokovic will almost surely widen considerably due to the Spaniard's absence from this summer's Toronto and Cincinnati tournaments.
"Unfortunately I injured my right wrist (Tuesday) during practice and after the tests I have undergone today in Spain, including an MRI, and checking with my doctors, I will have to stay out of competition for at least 2-3 weeks. I am sorry and wish the best to the tournament and thank all of the fans for their support," Nadal said in a statement on the Cincinnati Masters event's Web site.
"I'm extremely disappointed that I am unable to defend my titles and compete in Toronto and Cincinnati this year. I was looking forward to coming and playing again after my great results last year."
The U.S. Open gets underway on Aug. 25, just over one week after the end of the Cincinnati event.
Known for his physically demanding style of play and outstanding defensive skills, the 14-time Grand Slam singles champion has struggled to stay healthy during his career and been forced to miss each of the four Grand Slam events in past years due to various injuries. EFE