15 Aug 2017

Nadal back at the top after three year absence

7:10 am on 15 August 2017

Rafa Nadal will return to the top of world tennis for the first time in three years.

Roger Federer has pulled out of the Cincinnati Open with a back injury, meaning Nadal will be the new world number one in next week's rankings.

Rafa Nadal in action at the 2016 US Open.

Rafa Nadal in action at the 2016 US Open. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Federer's withdrawal assures that Nadal will be top of the rankings when they are issued on August 21st.

The Spaniard will return to the top spot for the first time since July 6, 2014.

Federer, who has participated in the Ohio warm-up tournament for the U.S. Open on seven occasions, said he had picked up the injury in Montreal, where he lost to Germany's Alexander Zverev in the final.

"I am very sorry to pull out of the Western and Southern Open as I always enjoy playing here," Federer said in a statement issued by the tournament.

"Cincinnati has some of the best fans in the world and I am sorry I will miss them. Unfortunately, I tweaked my back in Montreal and I need to rest this week."