Rafael Nadal pulls out of US Open due to Covid-19 concerns

Ross Houston
August 5, 2020

Great Britain's Andy Murray is on the cusp as the top alternate for the event, which would be the first Grand Slam in more than two decades, or since the 1999 US Open, not to feature either Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal in its main draw.

Nadal added: "We know that the reduced tennis calendar is barbaric this year after 4 months stopped with no play, I understand and thank for the efforts they are putting in to make it happen".

The Spanish 19-time Grand Slam victor added: "We know that the reduced tennis calendar is barbaric this year after four months stopped with no play". We have just seen the announcement of Madrid not being played this year.

Women's world number one Ash Barty has also withdrawn from the event, so too Nick Kyrgios, and Nadal - who won his 19th Grand Slam when winning the US Open past year - admitted it was a decision he "never wanted to take".

He added: "This is a decision I never wanted to take but I have chose to follow my heart this time and for the time being I rather not travel". Djokovic was named on the US Open entry list on Tuesday which included seven of the world's top 10 players. However Nadal had long harboured concerns over the proximity of the US Open and the swing of clay court events scheduled through September. The US Open in NY, scheduled for August 31 through September 13, will be followed a fortnight later by the French Open at Roland Garros.

Spain's Nadal had said in June that he had reservations about travelling to the Us amid the COVID-19 pandemic and he joins women's world No.1 Australian Ash Barty in skipping the tournament due to COVID-19 concerns.

The women's WTA Tour resumed this week with the Palermo Open, with one unidentified player pulling out on the eve of the tournament after testing positive for coronavirus, while the men's ATP Tour will start for the first time since March on August 22.

Nadal, 34, defeated Russia's Daniil Medvedev in a five-set thriller in last year's final at Flushing Meadows, and could have eyed the chance to equal Roger Federer's all-time haul of 20 Grand Slam titles in NY this year.

2 won his fourth US Open title a year ago when he beat Daniil Medvedev in the final.

Federer will be absent from the US Open, too, but because of two operations on his right knee this year. That moved Nadal within one Grand Slam singles title of Federer's record 20. Serena Williams is also in the field, chasing a seventh US Open and 24th Grand Slam time overall.

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