With Roger Federer out of Cincinnati, Rafael Nadal will reclaim the top ranking for the first time since 2014.
Roger Federer announced his withdrawal from the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati on Monday, citing a back injury he suffered in Montreal.
While some may consider his absence at this week's ATP Masters 1000 a loss for the U.S. Open lead-up tournament, it can be seen as a win for someone else: Federer's withdrawal guarantees that Rafael Nadal will move into the World No. 1 ranking position at the end of the week.
After 18-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov stunned Nadal 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(4) in the round of 16 at Rogers Cup in Montreal last week, Andy Murray held onto the top spot. But with Murray out of Cincinnati with an ongoing hip injury, and only a handful of points separating the top three men, it became clear that either Nadal or Federer was going to take the reigns. With Federer's withdrawal, Nadal will reclaim the No. 1 ranking on Aug. 21, just a week ahead of the U.S. Open.
The last time Nadal held the ATP's top spot was more than three years ago, during the week of July 6, 2014. He has spent 141 weeks at No. 1 during his career.