The tennis stars join Wimbledon winner Andy Murray, citing the need to heal in advance of the Rio Olympics
Swiss world number three Roger Federer and Spanish world number four Rafael Nadal have joined Wimbledon champion Andy Murray to pull out of next week's Toronto Masters tennis tournament.
Federer, a 17-times grand slam champion who won the Canadian stop in 2004 and 2006, said he needed more time off after his bid for a record-extending 18th grand slam title ended in the Wimbledon semi-finals earlier this month.
"Looking ahead, it is best for me that I take more time after Wimbledon. I look forward to coming back to Canada next year," the 34-year-old said.
Federer will seek his third Olympic medal at next month's Rio Games. His competition, Wimbledon winner Andy Murray, too had said he would not defend his Rogers Cup title so he can rest before defending his Olympic singles crown in Rio, only a day before Federer's announcement. Nadal, who has 14 Grand Slam titles, has been out of action since pulling out of the French Open following his second-round match with a wrist injury, said he was not fit enough to return to competition.
The 30-year-old Spaniard, a three-times winner of the Rogers Cup tournament that alternates each year between Toronto and Montreal, was only recently given clearance to compete in Rio despite not fulfilling the qualification criteria. "I only started practicing a week ago after my wrist injury and I am not ready to play such an important event," said Nadal.
That leaves Serbian world No.1 Novak Djokovic, who suffered a shock third-round defeat to American Sam Querrey at Wimbledon, as the only member of tennis "'big four" taking part in the Toronto event which runs from July 25 to July 31. The "big four" are expected to take part in the Rio Olympic Games, which start on August 5.