One day after finishing as the runner up at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, world No. 3 Roger Federer announced Monday that he has withdrawn from this week's W&S Open in Cincinnati, citing a back injury. Federer's absence at the tournament means that world ...
Roger Federer is out of the W&S Open in Cincinnati with a back injury. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
One day after finishing as the runner up at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, world No. 3 Roger Federer announced Monday that he has withdrawn from this week’s W&S Open in Cincinnati, citing a back injury.
Federer’s absence at the tournament means that world No. 2 Rafael Nadal is guaranteed to return to the world No. 1 ranking next Monday — more than three years after he last had the top ranking — and raises more questions heading into the U.S. Open that begins later this month.
“I am very sorry to pull out of the Western & Southern Open as I always enjoy playing here,” Federer said in a statement. “Cincinnati has some of the best fans in the world and I am sorry I will miss them. Unfortunately, I tweaked my back in Montreal and I need to rest this week.”
Andy Murray, the current world No. 1, has not played a match since losing to Sam Querrey in the Wimbledon quarterfinals and had mixed results as the top-ranked player. Murray, who also withdrew from Cincinnati, was hobbled with a hip injury in his match against Querrey.
Djokovic, who held the top spot before Murray, has already shut down his season with an elbow injury.
At the Rogers Cup in Montreal, Federer lost to the 20-year-old rising star Alexander Zverev in the final, while the 31-year-old Nadal was defeated by 18-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov.
“Had a bit of muscle pain, aches and pains here and there,” Federer, 36, said after his 6-3, 6-4 loss to Zverev, “just because it’s back on the match courts, on the hard courts. After vacation and practice, it’s always a bit of a shock for the body.”
While the Big Four still maintains a stranglehold on men’s tennis, the U.S. Open could be the opening the younger generation needs to break through.
Zverev, now ranked a career-high seventh in the world, already has won five tournaments this year, including two Masters 1000 titles.
“I’m just really happy for him, to see that he’s taking everything not just to the next level, but the two next levels, winning two Masters 1000s,” Federer said of Zverev after the match. “It’s extremely difficult to win. He’s won two this year. It’s a wonderful achievement for him. I wish him the best for the coming months and hope he can finish the season very strong because there’s opportunities now.”
Read more on tennis:
Still only 20, Alexander Zverev defeats his idol Roger Federer in Rogers Cup final
Denis Shapovalov beat Rafael Nadal nine years after being his mascot at Rogers Cup
Alexander Zverev might be tennis’s heir to the Big Four. Enjoy him in this moment.
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