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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Williams sisters, Kenin pull out from Western & Southern Open, Nadal withdraws from Toronto Masters

Nadal has said he has been dealing with a recurring foot issue since 2005, which returned at this year's Roland Garros, where he fell to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals before deciding to sit out two of the year's biggest events.

By: Reuters | Cincinnati, Toronto |
Updated: August 11, 2021 9:05:04 am
Tennis, Rafael Nadal, WilliamsSerena and Venus Williams' absence is dimming the star power at the U.S. Open tune-up event. While Rafael Nadal (R) will also miss Toronto Masters. (File)

Venus and Serena Williams as well fellow American Sofia Kenin on Tuesday withdrew from the upcoming Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, dimming the star power at the U.S. Open tune-up event.

“Unfortunately, I will not be playing in the Western & Southern Open next week as I am still in recovery from my leg injury at Wimbledon,” two-time champion Serena said in a tournament press release.

“I will miss all of my fans in Cincinnati whom I look forward to seeing every summer. I plan to be back on the court very soon.”Williams, who was forced to retire during her first round match at Wimbledon in June, will instead focus on being healthy as she aims for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title in Flushing Meadows later this month.

The tournament did not give a reason for why her sister and seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus had withdrawn.World number four Sofia Kenin also announced that she had made the “difficult decision” not compete at the venerable Premier 5 event, which is also known as the Cincinnati Open.”I am rehabbing well in hopes to play the U.S. Open later this month,” said the 2020 Australian Open champion Kenin.

venus williams vs serena williams Venus Williams (L) and Serena (FILE)

“I feel another week of recovery is necessary. I want to thank the USTA for all their efforts in holding the event during such challenging times. Best of luck to all the players.

“While the tournament will miss those players, the field still boasts world number one and reigning Wimbledon champion Ash Barty, four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka and reigning French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova.Two-time and defending champion Victoria Azarenka and past Cincinnati champions Madison Keys (2019), Garbine Mugurza (2017) and Karolina Pliskova (2016) will also compete at the outdoor hard court event.

Nadal withdraws from Toronto Masters with persistent foot injury

World number four Rafa Nadal on Tuesday said he had withdrawn from the Masters 1000 hardcourt event underway in Toronto due to persistent pain in his injured left foot.The injury kept the 20-time Grand Slam champion out of Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics this year and played a role in his shock third-round exit at the Washington Open last week.

Rafael Nadal, Rafael Nadal, of Spain, waves to the fans as he leaves the court at the Citi Open. (AP)

“I have had this issue for a couple of months, as people know,” said Nadal, a five-time winner of the event which was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”Of course, it is not a happy situation after all the success that I had here in Canada, not being able to play this year after missing a year.

“He said the decision was a tough one but added that the most important thing was getting better so he could go back to appreciating his time on the court.”Today, with this pain, I am not able to enjoy it, and I really don’t believe that I have the chance to fight for the things that I really need to fight for,” he said.

Nadal has said he has been dealing with a recurring foot issue since 2005, which returned at this year’s Roland Garros, where he fell to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals before deciding to sit out two of the year’s biggest events.

Nadal will now turn his attention to getting fit ahead of the U.S. Open in New York.”I really wanted to play here a lot, but now is the moment to make a decision, and this is unfortunately the decision that I have taken, and probably in the next couple of days we are going to know more,” he said. Second seed Nadal will be replaced by lucky loser and fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez in the main draw.

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