Western & Southern Open defending champion Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the 2014 tournament due to a right wrist injury. Nadal has also withdrawn from the ATP Masters 1000 event in Toronto, which precedes the Western & Southern Open.
"Unfortunately I injured my right wrist yesterday during practice and after the tests I have undergone today in Spain, including an MRI, and checking with my doctors, I will have to stay out of competition for at least 2-3 weeks. I am sorry and wish the best to the tournament and thank all of the fans for their support," said Nadal. "I'm extremely disappointed that I am unable to defend my titles and compete in Toronto and Cincinnati this year. I was looking forward to coming and playing again after my great results last year."
"It is very unfortunate that Rafa is unable to defend his title. He is a great champion, and his run to the title last year electrified our fans. We will miss him, and we wish him a very speedy recovery," said tournament director Vince Cicero. "The men's field remains incredibly strong, with five-time champion Roger Federer, two-time champion Andy Murray, and Novak Djokovic, who is on a quest to become the first to complete the Career Golden Masters with a title here. We're looking forward to welcoming these men along with the top WTA stars to Cincinnati in just nine days."
Nadal is one of five players to withdraw due to injury, joining Nicolas Almagro (foot), Alexandr Dolgopolov (knee), Tommy Haas (shoulder) and Florian Mayer (groin).
The withdrawals have allowed five players direct entry into the field, headlined by two-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt. Also joining the field are Julien Benneteau, Denis Istomin, Yen-Hsun Lu and Gilles Simon.
Twenty-three of the Top 25 players on the ATP World Tour remain entered in the Western & Southern Open. All 39 of the Top 39 ranked players on the WTA are on the initial entry list for the women's tournament.
Both the men's and women's tournaments at the Western & Southern Open will consist of 56-player singles fields. Four men and up to five women will be awarded wild cards into the tournament. In addition, a two-round qualifying tournament will be held August 9-10 in which an additional seven men and 12 women will earn berths into the W&S Open. The main draw will be made on the evening of August 8.
The Western & Southern Open is one of only five tennis events in the world, outside of the grand slams, where the best men and women play during the same week at the same venue.