Defending Champion Rafael Nadal Won’t Play US Open

With Rafael Nadal’s long-time rival Roger Federer already ruled out of the tournament as he recovers from knee surgery, the US Open will mark the first time since 1999 that neither player has featured in the main draw of a Grand Slam event.

Defending Champion Rafael Nadal Won’t Play US Open
Defending Champion Rafael Nadal Won’t Play US Open

Defending champion Rafael Nadal said he will not play the US Open, citing concerns over the coronavirus and slamming tennis’s “barbaric” revised calendar.

“After many thoughts I have decided not to play this year’s US Open,” Defending champion Rafael Nadal said on Twitter.

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“The situation is very complicated worldwide, the Covid-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don’t have control of it.”

“This is a decision I never wanted to take but I have decided to follow my heart this time and for the time being I rather not travel.”

The 34-year-old Spanish star Rafael Nadal also took aim at the international tennis schedule, which has been revised following disruptions sparked by Covid-19 shutdowns.

The US Open in New York, scheduled for 31 August through 13 September, will be followed a fortnight later by Roland Garros.

“We know that the reduced tennis calendar is barbaric this year after four months stopped with no play…” Rafael Nadal said.

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With Rafael Nadal’s long-time rival Roger Federer already ruled out of the tournament as he recovers from knee surgery, the US Open will mark the first time since 1999 that neither player has featured in the main draw of a Grand Slam event.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal, who has 19 Grand Slam victories, could have equalled Federer’s tally of 20 Slam wins in New York.

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