Rafael Nadal sympathises with any players suffering from injury but says it is important to ‘accept it and keep going’.
A number of the game’s top 10 have pulled out of the current Cincinnati Masters and are in danger of missing the US Open which starts later in the month.
Prolific Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic will miss the remainder of the season with an elbow injury while Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic have all suffered setbacks in recent weeks.
Roger Federer was also forced to withdraw from Cincinnati after struggling with a back problem and his absence in Ohio gave Nadal a clear run at the number one spot & is favourite to lift the trophy too.
Spanish star Nadal has a history of injury problems, having missing six Grand Slams in the last 13 years, and the 31-year-old knows it is a difficult time for players.
‘I have been in that position more than all these players that are out now,’ he said after beating Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-4 to reach the third round at Cincinnati.
‘I know how tough it is. I’m very sorry for all of them and I wish all of them a fast and good recovery.
‘But at the same time I tell you Roger didn’t have a lot of these things during his career. Novak the same. Andy the same. Stan, I don’t think he had a lot of issues.
‘I’m the only one of these top players that missed a lot of important tournaments in my career. More than nobody else, I know how tough it is.
‘But the only thing that you can do when these kind of things happen is accept and keep going.’
Nadal will assume the number one spot from Monday onwards and admits it will be an ‘emotional moment’ to be back there for the first time in three years.
He added: ‘I worked a lot to give me another chance and here I am.
‘Just to be back to that position makes me happy and of course is going to be an emotional moment for me.’
Alexander Zverev, who beat Federer in Montreal to extend his superb run in 2017, has departed Cincinnati early following a defeat to unseeded America Frances Tiafoe.
‘I’m not a machine. I’m tired. There was no hiding it. There’s a physical limit to all of us and I’ve reached that now,’ the 20-year-old admitted.
‘This match is already forgotten. But it’s something that’s normal. It happens to all of us.’