World No. 3 and second seed Rafael Nadal crashed out of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati on Wednesday. The Spaniard lost to Borna Coric in a three-set thriller in his first match on the tour since his withdrawal from Wimbledon due to an abdominal tear.
With the loss, Nadal will be unable to reach the summit of the ATP rankings until after the US Open. Current World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev is now guaranteed to remain in the top spot. The Russian is the defending champion at the New York Major.
Medvedev's ascent to the top spot in the rankings means that he will be the first non 'Big 4' member to be the top seed at a Grand Slam since Andy Roddick at the 2004 Australian Open. The Russian became World No. 1 in the ATP rankings in February this year after Novak Djokovic failed to defend his title in Dubai.
Medvedev was ranked No. 1 for only three weeks before giving the top spot back to Djokovic after a third-round loss to Gael Monfils in Indian Wells. The Russian was only able to recover the No. 1 spot after the conclusion of the 2022 French Open.
"The main thing for me is to stay healthy; has been a difficult injury to manage, to be honest" - Rafael Nadal after 2R loss in Cincinnati
At a press conference after his loss in Cincinnati, Rafael Nadal emphasized the need to stay healthy. The Spaniard spoke about the abdominal injury that has kept him on the sidelines since he withdrew from the Wimbledon semifinals and the impact it has had on his serve.
“You lose. You move forward. I know the way. The main thing for me is to stay healthy. Has been a difficult injury to manage, to be honest. The last month and a half haven't been easy, because having a tear on the abdominal, you don't know when is 100% over the thing, so that affects a little bit in terms of not sure if you are able to try your best in every serve,” he said.
The Spaniard stated that it was difficult to take positives from his campaign in Cincinnati, adding that he needs more match practice and time to improve.
Difficult to take a lot of positive things, but, I mean, I need to improve. I need to practice. I need to return better. I need days, and that's the true, no? Obviously I had my chances the beginning. In the tiebreak I had two important chances with two set points that I played terrible with two more-or-less easy shots. And then, yeah, bad game in the third. That's it,” he said.
Rafael Nadal will next be seen in action at the US Open, where he'll be gunning to win his 23rd Major title and continue his unbeaten record at Grand Slam events this year (19-0).
Also Checkout:- US Open 2022 Results