Rafael Nadal's bid to become the first back-to-back US Open champion since Roger Federer is in jeopardy after he suffered a wrist injury during practice, a source close to situation reported on Wednesday.
According to New York Times reporter Ben Rothenberg, Nadal's right wrist will be immobilized for 2-3 weeks because of slight detachment of the bones.
"More specifically, tests found "a small detachment of posterior sheath of the right ulnar wrist" in Nadal. Immobilization (cast) 2-3 weeks," the tennis writer posted on his Twitter account.
The 28-year old Nadal is expected to be among the favourites entering the North American hard-court season, but his camp already decided to withdraw from the Roger Cup and the Cincinnati Masters, tournaments where he's the defending champion.
With this development, the Mallorcan Bull loses the chance to defend at least half of the 4,000 ATP points he earned last season when he went 22-0 to win the Rogers Cup, Cincinnati Masters and the US Open championships.
Moreover, there are increasing concerns about Nadal's health heading into the US Open, where he guns for the 15th Grand Slam title of his career. Though the injury was in his off-hand, the right wrist injury would pose greater risk the left-handed Nadal had he decided to continue playing.
"But even a wrist on the off-hand will play havoc with a two-handed backhand and ball toss. The amount of power needed to repeatedly hit those shots gives the wrist a constant beating on the court," according to USA Today tennis writer Chris Chase.
Does Nadal Still Have Chance To Win US Open?
Given the time table set, Chase believed that Nadal will still be competitive at the US Open despite not having a hard-court tuneup. However, with Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and tennis young guns also setting their sight on the title, Nadal's US Open bid is in trouble.
"Still, with a rejuvenated Novak Djokovic, an energized Roger Federer, a motivated Andy Murray and a crop of youngsters intent on breaking the Big Four's hold, the odds would be stacked against him at the Open," Chase claimed.
Still, the veteran tennis writer warned everybody not to write off Nadal easily, because he has proven time and time again that he can overcome all sorts of obstacles like he did in 2013, when he piled up a remarkable comeback from a seven-month absence due to a knee problem.
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