• Rafael Nadal decided to skip the Canadian Open
  • He will next play at the Cincinnati Open
  • US Open is scheduled to begin on Aug. 29 in New York

Rafael Nadal has a chance to reclaim ATP's Word No. 1 spot ahead of the US Open 2022.

After Nadal skipped the ongoing Canada Open in Montreal as he felt "discomfort" during his training session, he confirmed Wednesday that he will participate in the upcoming Cincinnati Open.

"Very happy to play again in Cincy. Flying there tomorrow," Nadal wrote in an Instagram post.

This has come as great news, especially since the final Grand Slam of the year is due to take place later this month and Nadal, who is currently ranked No. 3, would want to enter the competition on the back of some match practice.

Daniil Medvedev, who is the current World No.1 among the ATP players, is also the defending champion at the US Open. In the lead up to the major event, Medvedev suffered a Round of 32 loss to Nick Kyrgios at the Canadian Open.

The Russian will once again be the top seed at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, which will begin on Aug. 15 and will go on till Aug. 21. Nadal will enter the tournament seeded second ahead of his young compatriot Carlos Alcaraz and Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas.

If Nadal wins the ATP Masters 1000 title and the current top-ranked player Medvedev fails to reach the quarter-finals, the 22-time Grand Slam winner would reclaim the No. 1 rank, according to ATP's official release. The last time Nadal was World No. 1 was back in January 2020.

The veteran player has had a fine run this year, having clinched four titles, including two Grand Slams (Australian Open and Roland Garros) that took his major titles tally to 22. Novak Djokovic cut the deficit to one by winning Wimbledon, while Roger Federer has been stuck with 20 Grand Slam titles for three years now.

Nadal was forced to withdraw from Wimbledon earlier this year just before his semi-final clash with Kyrgios due to an abdominal issue.

Moving on: Rafael Nadal
Moving on: Rafael Nadal AFP / Glyn KIRK

US Open 2022 is due to begin on Aug. 29 at Flushing Meadows in New York with the men's singles final scheduled to be played on Sept. 11. Since Djokovic is unvaccinated, he may not be allowed to participate in the hard-court Grand Slam as the organizers have decided to respect the U.S. government's rule that foreign travelers entering the country must be fully vaccinated.