Rafael Nadal: US Open defending champion will not play 2020 competition

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.

Bianca Andreescu, the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles championship, will defend her women's title at the U.S. Open, but defending men's champion Rafael Nadal said Tuesday he will skip the U.S. Open because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"After many thoughts I have decided not to play this year's U.S. Open".

Alongside Nadal, Medvedev was the player to beat that summer, saving enough energy to challenge Rafa in the last three sets and give the crowd on Arthur Ashe something to cheer about.

Nadal says the health situation is very complicated around the world with cases increasing and flare-ups.

"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", Rafael Nadal said. "We know that the reduced tennis calendar is barbaric this year after 4 months stopped with no play".

"All my respects to the USTA, the US Open organisers and the ATP for trying to put the event together for the players and the fans around the world through TV".

Nadal will be expected to take part in September's French Open, with the 34-year-old chasing a 13th Roland Garros title.

A number of players are also set to take part in the August 20-28 Western & Southern Open in NY, which serves as a warm-up event for the U.S. Open.

Nadal's plan to skip the US Open came shortly after the Madrid Open, scheduled for September, was canceled because of the pandemic.

Organizers confirmed that world number one and three-time victor Novak Djkovic would be among those playing, alongside last year's finalist Medvedev and fellow top 10 stars including Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev. Bianca Andreescu of Canada, who has battled injuries since she won the women's singles title previous year at Flushing Meadows, is on the entry list. According to the U.S. Tennis Assn., 13 Grand Slam singles champions were on the entry list, including 2018 U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka and 40-year-old Venus Williams, a two-time U.S. Open victor. Nadal's uncle and long-time former coach, Toni, said in June that the former world number one was uncertain about which events he would play.

That is supposed to be followed by the US Open itself.

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