By Ros Satar
- Novak Djokovic announced his withdrawal from the Western & Southern Open after his Olympic bids failed in Rio
- Serena Williams suffered a shock third round loss, accepts a wildcard
CINCINNATO, OHIO USA – The Western & Southern Open loses one World No. 1 and gains another as the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis aftermath rolls on.
Novak Djokovic – Career Masters will have to wait
Djokovic’s quest to get a full set of every ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title will be on hold, for one year, as he withdrew from the Western & Southern Open after his shock exit in the opening round of the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis. After folding in the doubles with compatriot Nenad Zimonjic, he announced his withdrawal on Wednesday, saying in a statement on the tournament website:
“I am very sad to announce that I won’t be able to play this year in Cincinnati at the Western & Southern Open.
“I have a recurring injury that has taken its toll on my body due to a very busy and active schedule this year. I have played many matches and I have to take some rest in order to heal. I always have my hopes high on returning to Cincinnati and winning the only trophy I am missing in the Masters Series.”
He has reached the final of 14 of the last 15 Masters 1000 tournaments he has played in and in Toronto he won a record 30th Masters title.
Serena’s loss is Cincinnati’s gain
There was no doubt that the summer hard court preparation for the US Open was going to feel some heat with the Rio Olympics slap bang in the middle of the US Open series calendar. Williams had pulled out of Montreal with a shoulder inflammation and she looked troubled with more of the same in her short stay in Rio.
But the two-time defending champion is going to be back to look for a ‘three-peat. She defeated Ana Ivanovic in the 2014 final, and took out Simona Halep last year.
In a statement, the tournament director Andre Silva said: “We are thrilled Serena is returning to defend her titles. She is a fan favourite wherever she goes, especially here in Cincinnati as the reigning champion.”
She will be looking to continue a 10-match winning streak at the tournament.
The draw for the Western & Southern Open takes place on Friday and the tournament takes place between 14-21 August.
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