World number two Rafa Nadal confirmed on Tuesday that he will not defend his US Open crown this year at Flushing Meadows as organizers released the singles entry list for the Grand Slam.
Spain’s Nadal had said in June that he had reservations about travelling to the U.S. amid the COVID-19 pandemic and he joins women’s world number one Australian Ash Barty in skipping the tournament due to COVID-19 concerns.
After many thoughts I have decided not to play this year’s US Open. The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don’t have control of it.— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) August 4, 2020
“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.”
The Madrid Open, which was scheduled to take place from Sept. 12-20, was cancelled on Tuesday due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in the Spanish capital.
World number one Novak Djokovic, a three-time champion in New York, headlines the men’s list along with last year’s runner-up Daniil Medvedev and other top 10 players including Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev.
Swiss Roger Federer, a five-times US Open champion, will also be absent after the 38-year-old was forced to undergo knee surgery in June that prematurely ended his 2020 season.
Nine of the top 10 women’s players, including 23-times Grand Slam champion Serena Williams and holder Bianca Andreescu, are on the entry list along with 2018 champion Naomi Osaka.