Rafael Nadal pulls out of Cincinnati Masters with foot injury – three weeks before US Open

Rafael Nadal hits a backhand
In June Rafael Nadal failed to defend his French Open title for the first time since 2016, losing to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Cincinnati Masters due to an ongoing foot injury – with the US Open beginning in under three weeks.

Nadal pulled out of the Canadian Open on Tuesday due to the injury, which he picked up at the French Open in June.

The Spaniard, 35, missed Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in order to rest after the clay-court season.

He played in Washington on 5 and 6 August, but now says he will return to Mallorca to try and “be better again”.

“I’ve had this issue for a couple of months. It is not a happy situation,” Nadal said.

“The most important thing is to enjoy playing tennis. With this pain, I’m not able to enjoy [playing].”

The 20-time Grand Slam champion – an all-time record he shares with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic – would be competing for a fifth US Open title should he be fit when the tournament begins on 30 August.

Nadal aggravated the injury in a second-round win over Jack Sock in Washington, although he said it had improved after he lost to South Africa’s Lloyd Harris in the third round.