Rafael Nadal withdraws from US Open citing Covid-19 concerns: 'This is a decision I never wanted to take'

George Flood
·2-min read
Getty Images
Getty Images

Rafael Nadal will not compete at the 2020 US Open due to concerns regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, the Spaniard confirmed on Tuesday.

Nadal is the reigning US Open men's singles champion and sealed his fourth title at Flushing Meadows in September 2019 after beating Russia's Daniil Medvedev in a thrilling five-set final in New York.

However, the 19-time Grand Slam winner will not defend his crown in this year's competition - scheduled to run between August 31 and September 13 - due to a reluctance to travel during the coronavirus crisis.

Nadal's withdrawal comes quickly after confirmation that the rescheduled Madrid Open - initially supposed to be held in May - has now been cancelled due to coronavirus and less than a week following women's no1 Ashleigh Barty declaring she also would not be playing at the US Open amid similar fears.

Revealing his decision on social media, the men's world no2 said: "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.

"We know that the reduced tennis calendar is barbaric this year after 4 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."

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Ashleigh Barty withdraws from US Open amid Covid-19 concerns