Rafael Nadal withdrew on Tuesday from the ATP Toronto Masters with the chronic foot injury which has bothered him since Roland Garros and now appears to threaten his US Open chances.
Officials said the second-seeded five-time champion will be replaced in the draw by fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.
“I’ve had this issue for a couple of months,” said Spain’s Nadal, who skipped both Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics after a French Open semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic.
“Of course it is not a happy situation after all the success that I had here in Canada,” the 35-year-old said. “I need to go back (to Mallorca) and try to find a way to be better again.
“The most important thing is to enjoy playing tennis,” he said. “With this pain, I’m not able to enjoy (playing).”
Nadal had returned to competition after a two-month layoff with a third-round loss to 50th-ranked South African Lloyd Harris in Washington.
After aggravating his foot injury in a second-round win over Jack Sock, he said after his loss to Harris that it had improved. But on Tuesday he said it hindered him too much to allow him to be competitive in Toronto.
“I don’t believe that I had chances to fight (in the tournament),” said Nadal, who had a first-round bye.
The injury looks likely to lead to a withdrawal from next week’s Masters 1000 in Cincinnati, leaving Nadal’s US Open participation in question.