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Will Rafael Nadal's Latest Injury Cost Him Dearly at Upcoming US Open?

© Sputnik / Alexei Filippov

Former world no. 1 Rafael Nadal is a four-time US Open champion and last won the tournament in 2019.

Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal withdrew from the Toronto Masters on Tuesday after aggravating a left foot injury that's been troubling him since his French Open final loss to Novak Djokovic in June. On Wednesday, the 35-year-old southpaw also pulled out of the Cincinnati Masters, raising more questions about his fitness ahead of the final Major of the year.

"I really wanted to play here a lot, but now is the moment to make a decision," Nadal said. "This is unfortunately the decision that I have taken and probably in the next couple of days we are going to know more."

The same injury forced him to miss both Wimbledon and the Olympics in Tokyo.

He made his much anticipated return to action only last week in Washington, where he looked down and out in the opening match before mounting a spectacular comeback to defeat the American Jack Sock in a third set tiebreaker.

However, his chances in the US capital came to an abrupt end in the next round as he was beaten by South African Lloyd Harris in a pulsating three-set encounter.

The legendary lefty was attempting to regain momentum in Toronto but his foot injury came back to haunt him, ending his campaign at the prestigious Masters event in Canada's most populous city.

Nadal's exit from the Toronto Masters has led many fans to ask if he'll be able to mount a serious challenge at the US Open in a month – a tournament he's won five times. 

India's former seven-time national champion in tennis, Gaurav Natekar, agrees with the fans, saying that a lack of match practice could hurt Nadal's chances of capturing another trophy at Flushing Meadows.

"Nadal seems to be in two minds right now. As he is not getting younger, he wants to compete and win as many tournaments as he could, but his body is not supporting him in his conquest," he told Sputnik on Wednesday.

"Nadal's escalating foot injury is a big jolt to him, considering he has done really, really well at the US Open in the recent past," he added.

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