Rafael Nadal is currently on track to be fit for the US Open at the end of August as he continues to recover from a wrist injury, The Independent reports.
The world number two recently pulled out of Masters Series events in Toronto and Cincinnati, which threw his participation in the final Grand Slam of the year into doubt.
But the Spaniard’s chances of playing in the tournament in New York seem strong, with the first round matches beginning on Monday August 25, though he will still be taking tests to monitor his fitness.
The RFET, Spanish tennis’ governing body, said on their website: “Following a scan and clinical evaluation, his progress is on track, although he will still have tests from time to time.”
The 28-year-old is yet to play a match since losing his spot at the top of the world rankings, which came after he was knocked out in the fourth round at Wimbledon in a surprise defeat to wildcard Nick Kyrgios of Australia.
That defeat allowed Serbia’s Novak Djokovic to move above him into the world number one spot and he now has a chance to pull further clear at the top as Nadal is set to lose 2000 ranking points before the US Open.
Nadal’s chances of finishing the year as the world number one have been seriously dented by his recent injury, as he was set to enter the two Masters Series events in August as the defending champion and he will not be able to increase his ranking points score at the US Open.
He won the Rogers Cup (which alternates between Toronto and Montreal) for the third time in 2013, beating Milos Raonic of Canada in the final, and he won the Cincinnati Masters for the first time the following week after winning a two-set final over American John Isner.
The 14-time Grand Slam winner picked up the injury to his right wrist in a practice session shortly before the start of the hard court season, and he has recently been training in his native Majorca with a cast on his wrist.
US Open success
Should he be able to play at Flushing Meadows, then he will be aiming to defend his title, which he won for the second time in 2013 after beating Djokovic in the final in four sets.
That came three years after his first US Open title, and it was a repeat of the 2010 final, where Nadal also won in four sets to complete the career Grand Slam, as he had previously won all three other majors.
Should he be able to retain his title this year, it would complete another successful year for Nadal, as he also won his ninth French Open title in June and he completed Masters Series title wins in Miami and Rome.