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Montreal champion, Nadal pulls out of Cincinnati Masters

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 13 Aug 2019
  • Rafael Nadal pulls out of Cincinnati following Montreal success
  • 2013 champion, Nadal is skipping Cincinnati for the second straight year
Rafael Nadal. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)

World No. 1, Rafael Nadal will not compete in this week's Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati after pulling out of the tournament due to fatigue.

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The Spaniard withdrew from the Masters 1000 meet following his Rogers Cup success in Montreal, with his next tournament set to be the US Open from 26 August. The 2013 Cincinnati champion is skipping the event for a second straight year, as he also pulled out of the tournament last season after winning the Rogers Cup in Toronto.

Nadal, with a 41-6 win-loss record for the season, has won more tour-level matches than any other man in 2019, claiming three titles- Rome and Roland Garros and his most recent success in Montreal.

Nadal's decision to miss Cincinnati did not exactly come as a surprise, especially given his recent record on hard courts. Between his Rogers Cup triumphs in 2018 and 2019, the world No. 2 competed in only three hard court tournaments, at the US Open last year, where retired in his semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro after dropping the opening two sets, at the Australian Open, where he was runner-up to Novak Djokovic, and in Acapulco, where he fell in the second round to Nick Kyrgios.

His victory in Montreal marked the first time he had successfully defended a hard-court title. Playing his first tournament since a semi-final defeat to Roger Federer at Wimbledon, Nadal made a slow start to his Rogers Cup campaign, squeezing past British qualifier, Daniel Evans 7-6 6-4 in the first round, but he got better as the tournament progressed, beating Guido Pella and Fabio Fognini en route the final. (He had a walkover over Gael Monfils in the semis). Nadal saved his best performance for the last, outclassing Daniil Medvedev 6-3 6-0 to win his fifth Rogers Cup title.

“I did a lot of things well: changing directions, changing rhythms during the point. The slice worked well this afternoon. I played some high balls, then changed down the line. I think I played smart this afternoon,” Nadal said after the win.

The in-form Medvedev had played superbly to reach a first Masters 1000 final, breezing through a difficult draw that included Kyle Edmund, Cristian Garin, Dominic Thiem and Karen Khachanov without dropping a set, but he was no match for Nadal in the final as the Spaniard ruthlessly dismantled his game to deny the Russian a maiden Masters 1000 title.

Nadal continues to sit atop the Masters 1000 leaderboard, improving to 35 titles with his Montreal success, two clear of nearest challenger, Djokovic. By virtue of reaching at least the final in Montreal, he held on to his No. 2 ranking, holding off Roger Federer, who could have overtaken the Spaniard had he fallen before the championship match in Canada. Nadal's absence from Cincinnati will not significantly affect his post-tournament ranking, as he will stay at No. 2 after the event. Federer is defending a runner-up finish from last season.

The Western and Southern Open is live from Cincinnati from 11-18 August.

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Montreal champion, Nadal pulls out of Cincinnati Masters

Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati following his title-run at the Rogers Cup in Montreal.

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