One of the biggest questions in the lead-up to the 2014 US Open is if Rafael Nadal can defend his title in Flushing Meadows, New York. Will the Spaniard’s wrist injury heal in time for the final tennis Grand Slam tournament of the year?
On July 30, 2014, Nadal suffered the injury to his right wrist and he was put out of commission for the following two to three weeks causing him to miss ATP tournaments in Toronto, Canada and Cincinnati, USA.
However, just five days after the injury was revealed, Nadal was already seen practicing—with a splint on his right wrist—and was reportedly on track to returning for the 2014 US Open.
“Following a scan and clinical evaluation, his progress is on track, although he will still have tests from time to time,” as released by the Spanish tennis federation during that time.
On Friday, Tennis World reported that the Spaniard will announce his decision to play or not to play by Tuesday, August 12 after his doctors and medical team evaluate the injury.
On the same day, Nadal also updated his followers on Twitter and Facebook showing more practice sessions and the possibility that a return in New York is indeed possible.
Entrenando con Dusan Lajovic en Manacor Practicing with Dusan Lajovic in Manacor http://t.co/JRdQHB6YMz
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) August 8, 2014
Nadal has won US Open titles in 2010 and 2013 and is hoping to successfully defend a Grand Slam crown outside of wins at the French Open (2005 to 2009 and 2010 to 2013).
The Spaniard is set to lose big ATP points by missing the Rogers Cup and Cincinnati Open and is in danger of losing the no. 2 ranking to rival Roger Federer.
Federer landed second in the recently-concluded 2014 Rogers Cup and is also set to play in Cincinnati. If he does well again in the APT 1000 tournament he has a legit chance of passing Nadal in the ATP rankings if the Spaniard continue to miss time including the 2014 US Open.
Winning the 15th Grand Slam title is one of the motivations for Rafael Nadal but outdoing his rival, Roger Federer in the ATP rankings is also another.