Nadal drops out of Cincinnati, scuttling ‘Massive 4’ reunion



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13 Aug 2018, 06:41 IST
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MASON, Ohio (AP) — Rafael Nadal dropped out of the Western & Southern Open on Sunday evening, scuttling a reunion of the “Massive 4.”

Nadal withdrew just a few hours after he gained his fifth title of the yr in Toronto, beating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 7-6 (4). As an alternative of enjoying extra grueling matches in Cincinnati, he’ll take per week to get some relaxation and prepare for the U.S. Open.

“No different purpose than personally caring for my physique and attempting to maintain as wholesome as I really feel now,” Nadal stated in an announcement.

And so the “Massive 4” reunion must await no less than just a few extra weeks. Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have not performed in the identical event in additional than a yr. With Nadal’s withdrawal, Federer turns into the highest participant within the males’s bracket in Cincinnati.

Of the three left, Murray has probably the most to achieve in Cincinnati.

Murray missed 11 months following hip surgical procedure and tried to return for Wimbledon, however withdrew when he wasn’t glad along with his exercises. Cincinnati will probably be his fourth event in his comeback. He reached the quarterfinals at Washington two weeks in the past, his finest end result.

Murray will play Lucas Pouille within the opening spherical on Monday afternoon. Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov is the defending champion. He did not drop a set and misplaced his serve solely as soon as whereas getting his first Masters title.

Federer has a file seven titles in Cincinnati, which is considered one of his favourite tournaments with its low-key setting. He and No. 1-ranked Nadal have been locked in a season-long, back-and-forth atop the rankings, exchanging the highest spot six occasions within the final six months. Nadal is assured to take the highest rating into the U.S. Open.

Whereas Federer has had nice success in Cincinnati — successful 41 of his final 45 matches — Djokovic has by no means gained a Western & Southern title — the one ATP Masters 1000 championship to elude him. He is reached the finals 5 occasions and misplaced each time, acknowledging that the stress has performed a component.

Djokovic is attempting as soon as once more to grow to be the primary to win all 9 ATP Masters occasions.

Within the ladies’s bracket, Serena Williams faces Daria Gavrilova on Monday evening, her first match since she suffered probably the most lopsided defeat of her profession. The 23-time Grand Slam champion misplaced 6-1, 6-Zero to Johanna Konta in San Jose, then withdrew from the Rogers Cup in Montreal.

Williams had a child in September and developed blood clots. She was the runner-up at Wimbledon final month, her fourth event since she returned to the tour. When she withdrew from the Rogers Cup, the 36-year-old Williams stated she’s been combating postpartum feelings.

“Not solely was I accepting some powerful private stuff, however I simply was in a funk,” Williams stated in an Instagram put up . “Largely, I felt like I used to be not a great mother.”

Prime-ranked Simona Halep is contemporary off one other title. She beat Sloane Stephens 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-Four for her third title this yr — she additionally beat Stephens for the French Open title.

Stephens is getting ready to defend her stunning U.S. Open title final yr. She was the runner-up within the French Open, however misplaced within the opening spherical at Wimbledon for the second straight yr. The loss to Halep on Sunday left her 0-Eight towards No. 1-ranked gamers.

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