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Foot injury fells Nadal as top seed Medvedev wins in Toronto

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In this file photo taken on May 13, 2021, Spain's Rafael Nadal wipes his face during his match against Canada's Denis Shapovalov in the Men's Italian Open at Foro Italico in Rome. (Photo: AFP)
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TORONTO — A nagging left foot injury forced Rafael Nadal out of the ATP Toronto Masters on Tuesday as top seed Daniil Medvedev rallied to reach the third round.اضافة اعلان

Nadal, a five-time champion in Canada, pulled the plug on his participation before his scheduled second-round opener with plans to return to Spain for treatment of the injury which kept him from Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics.

"I've had this issue for a couple of months," he said. "It is not a happy situation after all the success that I had here in Canada.

"I need to go back (to Mallorca) and try to find a way to be better again.  With this pain, I'm not able to enjoy (playing).

"I believe that I am not able to compete at the level that I need because the foot doesn't allow me to move the way that I need," added Nadal, who was the second seed in the hardcourt tournament. 

Top-seeded Russian Medvedev opened his week in the second round after a bye and staged a fightback to overhaul Kazakh Alexander Bublik 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The Russian came back a changed man after a second-set rain delay.

"I was not playing well before the rain," he said. "I was not feeling the ball and was missing on returns. "I just wanted to play better — I knew I had to if I was going to win.

"When we got back on court, I felt much better from the first game."
Medvedev advanced with 27 winners and 28 unforced errors in the two-hour victory.

New world number three Stefanos Tsitsipas cured an extended case of the jitters with a runaway third set to finally overcome Ugo Humbert 6-3, 6-7 (13/15), 6-1.

With the win he avenged a pair of previous losses to Humbert, including in the third round of the Olympics.

The Greek wasted five match points in the second set while his French opponent held on in a 23-minute tiebreaker.

But after a speedy deciding set, Tsitsipas finally prevailed on his seventh match point, finishing with 37 winners including 16 aces.

"It's all about the fighting spirit," Tsitsipas said. "I don't like to give up.

"It was not easy out there, I had to put in a lot of effort and give my best.

"It didn't work out for me in the second set, but nothing could stop me in the third."

Sixth seed Casper Ruud made a smooth transition to hardcourt after winning three consecutive claycourt titles, knocking out Marin Cilic 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
The Norwegian, who has moved to 10th in the rankings, won his 36th match of the season.

Kei Nishikori, runner up in 2016, carried his Tokyo Olympic and Washington momentum into a 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2 first-round win over Miomir Kecmanovic.
Asia's leading player, who reached the quarterfinals at the Games and followed up by reaching the semi-finals in Washington, broke the 59th-ranked Serb five times in their match lasting for just over two hours.

"My level is good, I'm playing some of my best tennis so far this year over the last couple of tournaments," Nishikori said. "I'm back on track now."

Olympic silver medallist Karen Khachanov defeated Britain's Cameron Norrie 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 with 10 aces, lining up a date with 15th-seeded fellow Russian Aslan Karatsev.

Isner with ease

American John Isner, winner of a sixth Atlanta trophy earlier this month, pounded 19 aces in his 6-4, 6-1 thrashing of Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Serb Dusan Lajovic put out Finnish qualifier Emil Ruusuvuori 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 while Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili beat Washington semi-finalist Jenson Brooksby 2-6, 6-0, 6-4.

Brooksby erupted as he was aced on match point, firing his racquet angrily into advertising hoardings at the side of the court.

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