Nadal Withdraws from Cincinnati; Halep Widens Ranking Lead

World No 1 Rafael Nadal on Sunday withdrew from next week’s ATP Cincinnati Masters event as he prepares for this month’s US Open.

The 32-year-old clinched the 80th title of his career earlier Sunday with victory over Stefano Tsitsipas in the final of the Toronto Masters.

However the Spaniard said in a statement following the win that he had decided to adjust his schedule in order to preserve his fitness.

“I am very sorry to announce that I won’t be playing in Cincinnati this year,” Nadal said.

“No other reason than personally taking care of my body and trying to keep as healthy as I feel now.

“I am very thankful to my friend Andre Silva, Tournament Director of the Cincinnati tournament, who after speaking to him on the phone understood what I said to him and understands the situation.

“I am sure the tournament will be a success and I wish him and his team all the best.”

The withdrawal leaves Roger Federer as the tournament’s highest seed in second. The Swiss did not play Toronto in order to conserve his resources, an example being followed by his main rival.

Nadal, who extends his lead on the men’s ranking, will be replaced in the draw by a lucky loser.

Meanwhile, Simona Halep strengthened her position as women’s world No 1 following her latest tournament triumph.

The 26-year-old Romanian leads her nearest rival, Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, by a margin of more than 1 000 points following her win on Sunday in Montreal.

The French Open champion beat world No 3 Sloane Stephens 7-6 (8/6), 3-6, 6-4 in a gruelling 2hr 41min battle.

LATEST WTA RANKING

  1. Simona Halep (ROM) 8061 pts
  2. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 6135
  3. Sloane Stephens (USA) 5727
  4. Angelique Kerber (GER) 5255
  5. Caroline Garcia (FRA) 4680 (+1)
  6. Petra Kvitová (CZE) 4550 (+2)
  7. Elina Svitolina (UKR) 4470 (-2)
  8. Karolína Plíšková (CZE) 4395 (+1)
  9. Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP) 4345 (-2)
  10. Julia Görges (GER) 3905
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