TC LIVE: Nadal's Citi Open appearance

When Rafael Nadal departed Washington, D.C. last Thursday following his third-round loss to Lloyd Harris, the 20-time major champion was cautiously optimistic about the progress of a left foot injury that forced him to miss both Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics.

“The most positive thing is my foot was better today than yesterday, so that's the best news possible,” the Spaniard said at the time. “I played against a player that played well.”

Unfortunately for fans hoping to see the world No. 4 at the National Bank Open in Toronto, Nadal isn’t ready to test the waters again this week.


On Tuesday, the five-time event champion (twice in Toronto, three times in Montréal) pulled out. Harris, who was due to face Nadal for the second time in as many weeks after dismissing Brayden Schnur in his opener, instead faces lucky loser Feliciano Lopez.

“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,” Nadal said in a flash interview to address his withdrawal. “It’s a tough one, but that's how it is today.

“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.”

Nadal was the last player to win the men’s portion of the 1000-level tournament, having triumphed over Daniil Medvedev in the 2019 final at Montréal. Tennis Canada was unable to stage the event at either tour stop last year due to COVID-19 concerns.