Why Did Rafael Nadal Withdraw From the National Bank Open 2021?

Published 08/11/2021, 2:10 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal during his semi final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


Five-time champion Rafael Nadal has pulled out from the National Bank Open 2021 a day before his opening match. A two-time defending champion at the event, he will now be replaced by compatriot Feliciano Lopez in the Toronto main draw.

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Since the ATP 1000 event in Toronto was canceled last year due to coronavirus and the ATP Rankings points were frozen, Nadal had kept his 1000 points. But now, as the rankings system resumes, he will drop his entire points earned in the Great White North.

The Spaniard has been dealing with persistent foot issues for the last two months, and his continued struggle with the same has forced him to skip out on the event formerly known as the Rogers Cup.

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What makes his withdrawal all the more heartbreaking is that he was the two-time defending champion and was looking forward to playing this year.

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Rafael Nadal on his National Bank Open 2021 withdrawal

After the French Open 2021 semifinal loss, Nadal took a break from the tennis circuit. Later on, he revealed that he had also been recovering from his foot injury.

Although he played in Washington with injured feet, he couldn’t go deep and crashed out in the third round. After that match, he stated that his foot has improved; however, that is certainly not the case.

“I have had this issue for a couple of months, as people know,” Nadal said. Of course, it is not a fortunate situation after all the success I had here in Canada, not being able to play this year after missing a year. It’s a tough one, but that’s how it is today.”

All the more, Nadal also has Kohler’s disease, where a bone in the feet does not fully grow. But while it could have ended his career before it began, the 35-year-old has battled past it bravely. Probably, it is more laborious now as he reaches closer to his retirement age.

What’s next for Nadal after pulling out from Toronto?

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Notably, the 20-time Grand Slam champion has played only one tournament after the French Open disappointment, the Citi Open in Washington, DC. It means that he also missed out on Wimbledon Championships and the Tokyo Olympics event.

Aug 10, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a serve as he practices on a day off before playing in the National Bank Open at Aviva Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Seemingly, Nadal wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to play at the US Open 2021. Therefore, he would use this time entirely on recovering quickly to be ready for New York.

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Only time will tell when Nadal will decide to return on the ATP Tour. What will be Nadal’s next step after withdrawing from the Toronto event?

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Purav Joshi

1120 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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