Rafael Nadal returns to action this week for the first time in over a month after suffering an abdominal tear that forced him to withdraw from the semifinals at Wimbledon in July.
Nadal will feature in the Western & Southern Open, where he is seeded second. The Spaniard has received a bye in the opening round and will face either Borna Coric or Lorenzo Musetti in the second round.
Some fans have been worried about Nadal's fitness, opining that the Spaniard could risk aggravating his injury by playing the Cincinnati Masters and the US Open back-to-back.
But Andy Roddick reckons the 22-time Major champion would not dent his US Open chances with a few matches at the Cincinnati Masters if he did not have a good amount of faith in his body.
While speaking on Tennis Channel, the American pointed out that the Spaniard's management did well to get him to play his opening match as late as possible. Roddick also stressed that Rafael Nadal's early arrival in Cincinnati shows that he means business.
"Props to Rafa's management for getting him into that Wednesday night timeslot, giving him as much time as possible to get ready and get his practice reps in," said Riddick. "But listen, you know Rafa's serious when he arrives at a tournament almost a week in advance to get used to the conditions in Cincinnati.
"I'm sure he's playing practice matches everyday. So, Rafa's not at this point - he would not sacrifice being healthy at the US Open to play in Cincy if he didn't feel like he could out play a healthy match on Wednesday night."
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Roddick asserted that while Nadal's body is not a big concern, his game could be one, given he has not played since Wimbledon. That said, the American reiterated that Nadal would never hamper his US Open participation if he did not fully believe in his recovery from the abdominal tear.
"So, I expect to see Rafa physically healthy. Now, the game is a different story, not having played since Wimbledon but I don't see him going out and playing a match in Cincinnati if he's not fully healthy," Roddick said. "I don't think he would have put the US Open at risk if that was the case."