Rafael Nadal shrugs off Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer’s absence in Montreal

Rafael Nadal

He is the only member of the Big Three in action at the Canadian Open this week, but Rafael Nadal is unperturbed by Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer’s decision to skip the event.

While his two great rivals have decided they need more time to recover after their epic Wimbledon final, world No 3 Nadal will lead the field in Montreal.

“When I get to a tournament, I try to work on my things and work on my game. It doesn’t matter whether Novak or Roger are here or not here,” the 18-time Grand Slam winner said. “There are many great players here, so I have to just prepare myself as soon as possible and be ready for the action.”

He added: “I would only face them in a semi-final or final anyway, so it’s not worth worrying about.”

Nadal returns to the hard-courts for the first time since March when he had to withdraw from his Indian Wells Masters semi-final against Federer due to a knee injury. That same injury also forced him to retire from his US Open last-four clash against Juan Martin del Potro last year.

However, the 33-year-old is determined not to let his past injuries distract him when he is in action.

“If I’m thinking about this stuff when I play tennis, I cannot play tennis,” he said. “I’m thinking about the ball, the opponent and what I have to do to play my best. I’m not worried.

“If something happens, then I will accept it and that’s it. I’m not putting more emphasis on it because when you think negatively, there’s more of a chance that things can happen.”

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