Defending champion Rafael Nadal won’t play US Open, slams schedule



Defending champion Rafael Nadal stated Tuesday he won’t play the US Open, citing considerations over the coronavirus and slamming tennis’s “barbaric” revised calendar.

“After many ideas I’ve determined to not play this 12 months’s US Open,” Nadal stated on Twitter.

“The scenario could be very sophisticated worldwide, the Covid-19 instances are rising, it seems to be like we nonetheless haven’t got management of it.

“It is a choice I by no means wished to take however I’ve determined to comply with my coronary heart this time and in the intervening time I quite not journey.”

The 34-year-old Spanish star additionally took goal on the worldwide tennis schedule, which has been revised following disruptions sparked by COVID-19 shutdowns.

The US Open in New York, scheduled for 31 August by way of 13 September, can be adopted a fortnight later by the French Open at Roland Garros.

“We all know that the decreased tennis calendar is barbaric this 12 months after four months stopped with no play…” Nadal stated.

With Nadal’s long-time rival Roger Federer already dominated out of the event as he recovers from knee surgical procedure, the US Open will mark the primary time since 1999 that neither participant has featured in the principle draw of a Grand Slam occasion.

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

Doubts about Nadal’s willingness to play the US Open have swirled for months as tennis grapples with a calendar that has been decimated by pandemic disruption.

In June, Nadal warned he wouldn’t contemplate enjoying the US Open except he was happy situations have been “fully secure.”

Nadal’s title was entered final week on the US Open tune-up event, the ATP/WTA Western and Southern Open, which can be held in New York this 12 months as a substitute of Cincinnati.

Nonetheless Nadal had lengthy harboured considerations over the proximity of the US Open and the swing of clay court docket occasions scheduled by way of September.

Nadal’s uncle and long-time former coach, Toni, stated in June that the previous world primary was unsure about which occasions he would play.

“The schedule is unrealistic, particularly for veteran gamers, who can not compete for thus many weeks in a row,” Toni Nadal stated. “I feel it’s a bit ugly what the ATP has finished.”

With Nadal and Federer lacking from New York, world primary Novak Djokovic can have a golden alternative to land an 18th Grand Slam singles title.

Djokovic was named on the US Open entry listing on Tuesday which included seven of the world’s high 10 gamers.

Djokovic, a three-time US Open champion, can be joined by world quantity three Dominic Thiem, world quantity 5 Daniil Medvedev and sixth-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The ladies’s entry listing in the meantime consists of 13 Grand Slam champions and 9 of the world’s high 10 gamers.

With Australia’s world primary Ashleigh Barty withdrawing from the event final week citing “vital dangers” from Covid-19, the ladies’s draw can be led by Romania’s world quantity two Simona Halep of Romania, a two-time Grand Slam champion.

Serena Williams can also be within the subject, chasing a seventh US Open and 24th Grand Slam time general.



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