Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the upcoming Toronto and Cincinnati Masters due to a wrist injury, it was announced on Wednesday.
The world number two picked up the injury while practicing on Tuesday and he will now have no time to get some extra match practice under his belt before he aims to defend his US Open title, with the tournament beginning on Monday August 25.
It was revealed by the Spaniard’s manager that he will not be taking part in the two warm-up events before the final Grand Slam of the year and he will not play in any other events in the hard court season.
The Mallorca-born player has enjoyed success at both ATP Masters 1000 Series events in the past, as he won the Rogers Cup (which alternates between Toronto and Montreal) for the third time in 2013 when he defeated Canada’s Milos Raonic in the final.
The 28-year-old also holds two Cincinnati Masters titles, again with the second coming in 2013 when two tie-breaks decided the final against American John Isner.
Nadal is set to lose 2000 ranking points, as he is the reigning champion in both events that he has withdrawn from. It is unlikely that he will lose his spot at second in the ATP rankings, though, as third-placed Roger Federer trails him by over 6000 points.
His injury will come as positive news to his competitors, particularly Novak Djokovic, who is now likely to hold at least a 3000 point lead at the top of the rankings going into the US Open.
It is unclear whether Nadal will return to action for the tournament at Flushing Meadows, which he won for the second time in 2013 after beating Serbia’s Djokovic in a four-set final.
It would not be the first time that the 14-time Grand Slam winner will have been forced to miss the event in New York, as a knee injury forced him out of the tournament in 2012.
Nadal has not played since his shock loss to Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios in the fourth round at Wimbledon earlier in July, as he failed to make the quarter-finals at SW19 for the third consecutive year.
Should he be fit to play at the US Open, he will be looking to add a 15th Grand Slam to his trophy cabinet, as he moved to three behind Federer’s record 17 majors when he won his ninth French Open title in June.