February 28, 2021

Defending champ Rafael Nadal pulls out of US Open amid pandemic – tennis

Defending champion Rafael Nadal will skip the US Open due to the coronavirus pandemic, placing on maintain his bid to equal Roger Federer’s males’s report for Grand Slam titles.

Nadal defined his choice in a collection of tweets despatched in Spanish and English on Tuesday.

“The state of affairs could be very sophisticated worldwide, the COVID-19 circumstances are rising, it seems to be like we nonetheless don’t have management of it,” Nadal wrote.


The 34-year-old from Spain known as sitting out the event scheduled to start Aug. 31 in New York “a choice I by no means wished to take,” however added that he would “somewhat not journey.”

“Rafa is without doubt one of the best champions in our sport and we help his choice,” U.S. Open event director Stacey Allaster mentioned.

The present No. 1-ranked girl, Ash Barty, already had introduced she could be lacking the U.S. Open. The U.S. Tennis Affiliation’s entry checklist bulletins Tuesday famous that 2019 girls’s champion Bianca Andreescu is within the area — no less than for now; gamers can withdraw till the beginning of play — however made no point out of Nadal.

The skilled tennis excursions have been on hiatus since March due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with play resuming for ladies on Monday in Palermo, Italy. The primary males’s occasion on the principle tour is scheduled to be held later this month.

Nadal’s plan to skip the U.S. Open got here shortly after the Madrid Open, scheduled for September, was canceled due to the pandemic.

“We all know that the diminished tennis calendar is barbaric this yr after Four months stopped with no play,” Nadal wrote on Twitter. “I perceive and thank for the efforts they’re placing in to make it occur.”

In final yr’s thriller of a males’s remaining at Flushing Meadows, Nadal edged Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-Four in Four hours, 50 minutes. That gave Nadal 4 titles on the U.S. Open and a complete of 19 throughout all of the Grand Slam tournaments, only one away from Federer’s profession mark.

Federer will probably be absent from the U.S. Open, too, however due to two operations on his proper knee this yr.

The final Grand Slam event contested with out both Federer or Nadal was the 1999 U.S. Open — 4 years earlier than Nadal made his debut at one of many sport’s 4 most prestigious occasions.

The USTA has given repeated indications it intends to go ahead with the U.S. Open, regardless of the spikes in circumstances round the US, saying in a information launch final week: “New York State continues to be one of many most secure locations within the nation because it pertains to the COVID-19 virus.”

That’s presently true — though the world was a significant U.S. scorching spot early within the pandemic, a lot so {that a} constructing on the U.S. Open web site was used as a brief hospital.

New York hospitals noticed greater than 18,000 sufferers with COVID-19 at a time in mid-April when infections surged and greater than 750 sufferers with the sickness died every day in hospitals and nursing houses. These figures plunged in Might, and charges of hospitalizations and new optimistic COVID-19 circumstances have been comparatively steady since June.

There are nonetheless issues about journey, as Nadal famous.

The USTA is planning a doubleheader of kinds on the Billie Jean King Nationwide Tennis Middle. The Western & Southern Open, a hard-court event usually performed in Cincinnati, was moved to the U.S. Open web site this yr due to the pandemic and is scheduled to be performed Aug. 20-28.

That’s speculated to be adopted by the U.S. Open itself. After which, two weeks after the U.S. Open closes on Sept. 13, the French Open is scheduled to start in Paris, having been postponed from its ordinary Might begin.

“I do know our followers will probably be disenchanted to not have Rafa enjoying this yr’s Western & Southern Open and U.S. Open,” Allaster mentioned. “Nonetheless, for the followers and and the game, we sit up for being impressed by him when he decides he’s able to play.”


Extra AP tennis: https://apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports