“Big 3”, Serena withdraw from Western & Southern Open

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Serena Williams have all withdrawn from next week’s Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, OH.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic decided to skip next week’s Masters 1000 tournament after losing twice at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Djokovic fell to Alexander Zverev in the semifinals of the Olympic singles tournament, 6-1, 3-6, 1-6. He also lost in the bronze medal match to Pablo Carreño Busta, 4-6, 7-6, 3-6. Novak cited he needed more time to “recover and recuperate after quite a taxing journey from Australia to Tokyo.”

Rafael Nadal, the No. 4 player in the world, has decided to pull the plug on playing in Cincinnati due to a lingering left foot injury that has bothered him for months now. Nadal lost last week in the third round of the Citi Open in Washington to Lloyd Harris, 4-6, 6-1, 4-6. Nadal was scheduled to play against Harris again in this week’s Toronto Masters prior to his withdrawal from the event. Nadal has only one title at the Masters event in Cincinnati coming in 2013 against American John Isner.

Roger Federer, the 9th ranked player in the world, has not played since losing in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon to Hubert Hurkacz, 3-6, 6-7, 0-6. Federer withdrew from the Olympic games after re-aggravating his knee during Wimbledon. It is unsure if Federer will play in New York later this month at the US Open, but it seems that’s what he’s aiming for. In a press conference at Wimbledon, Roger stated that it’s been difficult to deal with the restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic. Being away from his family has been the hardest part saying, “I have not seen them, I am not with them and that in itself is not good.”

Serena Williams, now ranked at 20th in the world, has withdrawn from Cincinnati due to injury concerns. She retired from her first round match at Wimbledon after suffering a right leg injury. In a press release by the Western & Southern Open, Serena stated that she plans “to be back on the court very soon.”

It is certain that all tennis fans want to see these stars in action and healthy at the US Open coming up in New York. It will feature a 100% capacity crowd, which is something we haven’t seen much of at tennis venues since the pandemic started in the spring of 2020. The Western & Southern Open begins on August 14th.