Top Stars in Tennis Choose Rest Ahead of the U.S. Open

Top Stars in Tennis Choose Rest Ahead of the U.S. Open
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Top Stars in Tennis Choose Rest Ahead of the U.S. Open

Top Stars in Tennis Choose Rest Ahead of the U.S. Open

As the tennis circuits warm up for the US Open in the summer heat of North America, the sport’s most accomplished players will arrive in New York City in the cold.

The five active players with the most Grand Slam singles titles to their name – Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Venus Williams – are absent from this week’s National Bank Open in Toronto and Montreal, and West and South next week. Open in the suburb of Cincinnati. The veterans have all played selective programs this year, but their complete lack of preparation for the last major tournament of the year, which begins August 30, is striking.

Djokovic, 34, was the only one in the group to compete in the Tokyo Olympics, while Federer, Nadal and Serena Williams withdrew, and Venus Williams’ singles ranking of 112 did not qualify her for the Olympics. .

Djokovic’s candidacy for his first gold medal ended in disappointment. After reaching the semi-finals in both the singles and the mixed doubles, Djokovic lost the bronze medal singles match to Pablo Carreño Busta and withdrew from the mixed doubles bronze medal match due to a left shoulder injury.

Djokovic, who will try in New York to become the first man to win all four Grand Slam singles titles in the calendar year since 1969, blamed his Cincinnati withdrawal on fatigue.

“I’m taking a little longer to recover and recover after a pretty grueling trip from Australia to Tokyo,” said Djokovic, the defending West and South champion. “Unfortunately that means I won’t be ready to compete in Cincinnati this year, so I’m going to focus and focus on the US Open and spend more time with my family. See you soon in New York!

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Nadal, 35, is the only group to have competed in a warm-up event in North America. After retiring from Wimbledon and the Olympics with a left foot injury, he made two appearances at the Citi Open in Washington, defeating Jack Sock before losing to 50th-ranked Lloyd Harris.

Nadal, who has a long-standing foot problem because his navicular bone did not properly sclerotize as a child, was optimistic about his progress after his loss to Harris.

“Best news: the foot was better than yesterday,” Nadal said last week. “I was able to move a little better, so it is very important, especially for me personally, to continue to enjoy the sport and to have energy, believing that important things are possible.”

But after further training in Washington and Toronto, Nadal withdrew from the National Bank Open on Tuesday.

“I was in pain, especially in that first game,” Nadal said Tuesday of his game in Washington. “And I was also in pain during training. But you always expect improvement or hope to improve, and that’s why I came here. And that improvement didn’t happen, right? So I really believe that I am not able to compete at the level that I need because the foot will not allow me to move as I need to.

Federer, who turned 40 on Sunday, cited the knee injury that forced him out of the Olympics by withdrawing from Toronto and Cincinnati.

Serena Williams, who turns 40 next month, cited a leg injury on Tuesday while withdrawing from Cincinnati. His ranking on the WTA Tour fell to 20th place.

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The men, however, missed out on similar transition moments at the sport’s biggest events. When Dominic Thiem won the US Open last year at age 27, he did so without having to face the so-called Big Three. Nadal and Federer both missed the tournament and Djokovic fell short in her fourth round match after hitting a linesman with a ball. Thiem has been out of competition since June when he seriously injured his right wrist during a tournament in Mallorca. He posted on Instagram on Wednesday that he was “swapping the brace for my racquet again.”

Thiem’s ​​US Open victory last year remains the only Grand Slam singles championship won by a man born in the 1990s; 17 Grand Slam titles were won by women born in this decade, with two more won by women born in the 2000s.

Asked about the absence of established stars following the withdrawal of Nadal, the third Stefanos Tsitsipas underlined the other side of the problem.

“I think there is room for new stars,” Tsitsipas said after his second round victory in Toronto. “It’s been talked about a lot in recent years, and I think now it shows that things are changing. We are seeing a different generation of players stepping up and showing what they’re capable of.

“It’s interesting to have that kind of variation and change of thrones, let’s call it,” Tsitsipas added. “It’s interesting for our game. We ourselves have generated our own team of people and fans who support us, give us love and are there for us in every game that follows us. “

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A fan seemed very excited for Tsitsipas in Toronto, begging “please touch me!” As he leaned towards him.

There was no physical contact, but the fan left satisfied. “He smiled at me! He literally smiled!

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