Heart-touching: Tennis fans erupt over detail in photo of Rafa Nadal before US Open
Rafa Nadal has delighted his legion of tennis fans after announcing he will make his return at the Cincinnati Masters next week in the lead-up to the US Open.
The 22-time grand slam champion hasn’t played since being forced to withdraw from Wimbledon before his semi-final against Nick Kyrgios due to an abdominal injury.
He wasn’t fit enough to play at the current Canadian Open in Montreal, but on Wednesday announced that he will be back in action in Cincinnati.
“Very happy to play again in Cincy. Flying there tomorrow,” the 36-year-old wrote on Instagram.
The Spaniard hasn’t played in Cincinnati for five years after winning the title there in 2013.
He will be seeking a fifth US Open title and 23rd major when the hard-court grand slam gets underway in New York on August 29.
He will be one of the favourites to lift the crown with Novak Djokovic highly unlikely to play due to his vaccination refusal.
Speaking about his abdominal injury after withdrawing from Montreal, Nadal said: “I have been practising for a while now without serving and started with serves four days ago.
“Everything has been going well. However yesterday, after my normal practice, I felt a slight bother on my abdominal and today it was still there.
“After speaking with my doctor, we prefer to take things in a conservative way and give a few more days before starting to compete.”
The news of his participation in Cincinnati sent tennis fans into a frenzy on social media.