Elite players led by World No 1 Roger Federer at the Cincinnati Masters expressed their concern on Wednesday that Rafael Nadal will be forced to miss the US Open due to left knee tendinitis.
“It’s not a surprise, because I wrote him and he told me it wasn’t looking good at all,” said top seeded Federer.
“But obviously when it’s official it’s disappointing for tennis, there’s no doubt about it.
“I would love to have him in the draw. With 12 days before the Open you figure he might still have time to fix what he has to fix to get ready.
“There is obviously the whole debate going on if he is going come back for this year.
“I hope in hindsight this is a very smart decision by him. But it’s obviously a big blow and disappointing news for the tennis world.”
Those sentiments were echoed by World No 2 Novak Djokovic and fourth-ranked Olympic gold medalist Andy Murray.
“He’s a great competitor,” Djokovic said. “I’m sure that if he was able to perform in the US Open he would come. So I wish him a quick recovery.”
Murray, who has been dealing with a knee problem of his own over the last week or so, was equally sympathetic.
“I’m disappointed for him, it’s obviously tough. He’s had trouble with his knees in the past. So I hope he can rest, doesn’t come back too early, and gets them fixed so he can get back to playing his best tennis.”
Big three progress in Cincinnati
Four-time champion Roger Federer crushed Alex Bogomolov, of Russia, 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday, leading the world’s best players into the third round of the Cincinnati Masters.
World No 1 Federer — who has reached the semi-finals or better at 11 of the last 12 ATP events he has played — was untouchable in his first outing since the Olympics, and will now face Australia’s Bernard Tomic. Second seed Novak Djokovic made a scratchy start while Andy Murray motored through as the pair of seeds won their opening matches after first round byes.
Serbia’s Djokovic defeated Italian Andreas Seppi 7-6 (7/4), 6-2. Murray, the Olympic gold medalist who played one match last week in Toronto and then quit with a sore knee, showed no sign of injury as he knocked out American Sam Querrey 6-2, 6-4, in just 83 minutes.