The return of Rafa Nadal will have to wait

Foot discomfort has prevented Rafa Nadal from meeting South African Lloyd Harris at the Canadian 1,000 Masters after losing to him in Washington.


Rafa Nadal will not be able to start his way in a Masters 1,000 in Canada that already had the casualties of Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem or Roger Federer, among others. The 'bogeyman' in Toronto for Nadal in Toronto would have been Daniil Medvedev, the tournament's first seed, although the Manacor could only have seen him in a hypothetical final. Nadal had to face a Lloyd Harris on Wednesday who defeated him just a week ago in the ATP 500 in Washington, in the only duel between the two to date, where Nadal suffered discomfort in the foot that reduced his performance and that have been the that have motivated his last-minute withdrawal from the tournament.

In statements released by the tournament late Tuesday night, Nadal himself announced his resignation from the 1,000 Masters in Canada. "I really wanted to play here, but now is the time to make a decision and, unfortunately, that is the decision I have made. As you know, I have had this problem for a couple of months. Of course, it is not a happy situation afterwards. of all the success that I have had here in Canada I cannot play this year after the tournament could not be played last year. It is difficult, but it is what it is today. " Nadal's place in the 1,000 Masters in Canada will be occupied by another Spaniard, Feliciano López, who enters as a 'lucky loser' after falling in the previous one and who will face Lloyd Harris in this second round.Historically, Rafa had been good at this start of the American tour in Canada (he will soon have Cincinnati and the US Open), not in vain, he is the current champion of a tournament (the 2020 edition was not played due to the pandemic) that has won five times: 2005, 2008, 2013, 2018 and 2019. With his resignation, Nadal will not be able to test his unbeaten record in the finals of this tournament (5-0) or face a Harris (24 years old) who is in the highest ranking of his career (49th ATP) and with clear progression and before which Nadal expected to face a more placid encounter than last week in Washington, trying to annoy the Cape Town 'gunner' from the rest to short-circuit his game, based primarily on serve (averages more than 10 aces per game this season) .

In case Nadal lacked few motivations in his preparation for the US Open, where for the first time he will compete tied with Federer and Djokovic in 20 Grand Slams, the one from Manacor would have avoided an unusual statistic with a victory against Harris. And it would have prevented the South African from achieving two victories against Nadal in consecutive tournaments at the hands of the same tennis player for the first time since Federer did the same in 2017 in Indian Wells and Miami. Had he competed and beaten Harris in the first round, it should be noted that his potential path would not have been exactly rosy to the title: Opelka in the round of 16, Schwartzman or Bautista in the quarterfinals, Tsitsipas in the semi-finals and Medvedev in the final. "I try to be competitive again. I need to have the feeling of playing several days in a row without problems," Nadal explained at the press conference upon arrival at the tournament. Finally, the return of Rafa Nadal must wait at least until the Masters 1,000 in Cincinnati ... if his left foot allows it.

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