While Nadal remains in the draw for Cincinnati next week, it’s unclear whether he will play and, even if he does, he risks aggravating his left foot injury in the lead up to New York.
If he pulls out of the Western & Southern Open it means his only matches in two months will have come in Washington, where he narrowly avoided defeat before crashing out to the world No 49, which doesn’t serve as good preparation.
Meanwhile, Djokovic will come into New York feeling rested and recovered – something he can afford to do after playing so much in the first half of the year, and the break will likely do him more good than harm.
Although he suffered crushing losses in Tokyo, the Serb’s failure to capture his first gold medal will likely only motivate him more to win the US Open to achieve the calendar Slam and compensate for defeat at the Olympics.
It will certainly be an interesting few weeks with the three biggest forces on the ATP Tour all in doubt ahead of the final major of the season but there’s no denying the world No 1 now looks to be in the best position of them all after Federer and Nadal’s recent injury woes.