The Spanish will not be able to revalidate the triumph achieved in 2019 at Flushing Meadows, nor can he reach the 20-Grand Slam title mark of Swiss Roger Federer, who will not be able to play due to injury.
Spanish tennis player Rafa Nadal, winner of the 2019 United States Open, resigned on Tuesday to try to revalidate the title in New York due to the risks of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Open, scheduled from August 31 to September 13, released its initial list of participants on Tuesday, which includes the world number one, the Serbian Novak Djokovic, and number two, Nadal, is absent.
“After much thought, I have decided not to participate in this year’s US Open. The health situation continues to be very complicated worldwide with cases of COVID-19 and outbreaks that seem out of control,” Nadal said on his Twitter account.
In this way, Nadal will not be able to revalidate the triumph achieved in 2019 at Flushing Meadows, nor can he reach for now the mark of 20 Grand Slam titles of the Swiss Roger Federer, who will also not be able to play due to injury.
The Open will be the first Grand Slam tournament since 1999 in which neither Federer nor Nadal will be present.
The Open dispute, the first Grand Slam to be held since the break of the ATP circuit in March, was in the air for months due to the spread of the pandemic in the United States, where New York was the initial epicenter.
The organizers, finally, decided to keep the celebration of the tournament on its feet without the presence of spectators.
The health situation in New York has improved in recent weeks and organizers hope to create a “bubble” environment around the tournament to protect tennis players, although the pandemic continues to wreak havoc in the United States where it has already caused 4.7 million infections and more than 156 thousand deaths.
“This is a decision that I would not want to make but in this case, I follow my heart to decide that for now, I prefer not to travel,” said Nadal, 34.
“Today the situation is complicated for tournaments and all my respect to the USTA, organizers of the US Open and the ATP for the efforts they are making to play the tournament for the millions of fans who will see it on TV or on digital platforms, “said the tennis player, who won four times in New York.
DJOKOVIC AND OTHER SIX TOP-10 IN NY
After more than four months of interruption due to the pandemic, the ATP circuit started up again this week in Palermo (Italy).
With the calendar readjustments, just two weeks after the Open final, the next Grand Slam tournament, Roland Garros, will begin in Paris, which was rescheduled from September 27 to October 11.
“We know that this year’s calendar after four months without playing is outrageous,” said Nadal, who has claimed 12 of his 19 Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros.
Nadal’s absence is in addition to those already known to Federer, who will not return to the competition before 2021 after two operations on the right knee, and Australian Nick Kyrgios.
Nadal’s announcement coincided with the publication of the initial list of Open participants, including seven of the top ten in the ATP ranking, including Djokovic, Austrian Dominic Thiem (3rd), and Russian Daniil Medvedev (5th), who faced Nadal in the tournament final last year.
Apart from Nadal (2nd) and Federer (4th), the other member of the Top-10 that does not appear in the publication is the French Gael Monfils (9th).
In the female category, the current champion, the Canadian Bianca Andreescu, entered the Open list.
Also announced was the winner of the last Australian Open, the American Sofia Kenin; the Japanese Naomi Osaka, the Spanish Garbiñe Muguruza, and the already confirmed Serena Williams.
Current WTA ranking number one Australian Ashleigh Barty resigned last week from competing in New York.