Defending US Open champion Nadal: “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.”
Last Updated: 04/08/20 7:39pm
Defending US Open champion Rafael Nadal has ruled out playing in this year’s competition over coronavirus fears.
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) will set up a strict bio-security ‘bubble’ to minimise the risk of contracting the coronavirus during the Grand Slam, which starts on August 31.
But Nadal has become the latest high-profile player to withdraw after Nick Kyrgios and women’s world No 1, Ashleigh Barty pulled out.
“After many thoughts I have decided not to play this year’s US Open,” Nadal said on Twitter. “The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don’t have control of it.
“We know that the reduced tennis calendar is barbaric this year after four months stopped with no play, I understand and thank for the efforts they are putting in to make it happen. We have just seen the announcement of Madrid not being played this year.
“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.
“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.”
Andy Murray has said he is “willing to take a risk” to play at this year’s US Open, with Novak Djokoivic uncertain over making the trip and Roger Federer already sidelined for the year after knee surgery.