Rafael Nadal to skip US Open amid COVID-19 pandemic
World number two Rafael Nadal, on Tuesday, confirmed that he will not participate in the upcoming US Open amid COVID-19 pandemic. Reportedly, the organizers released the singles entry list (men's and women's) for the Grand Slam event. The Spaniard joins women's world number one Ashleigh Barty in skipping the tournament due to COVID-19 concerns. Nadal took to Twitter for announcing his decision.
I have decided not to play this year: Nadal
"After many thoughts I have decided not to play this year's U.S. Open," Nadal wrote 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."
US Open is scheduled to begin on August 31
The international tennis calendar was revised after the COVID-19 outbreak caused disruption. As of now, the US Open is scheduled to be played from August 31 to September 13 in New York. Meanwhile, the French Open will run from September 20 to October 4 at the Roland Garros. Notably, the Madrid Open has been canceled with COVID-19 cases rising in the Spanish capital.
'The reduced tennis calendar is barbaric', says Nadal
The Spanish star also took a dig at this year's tennis calendar. "We know that the reduced tennis calendar is barbaric this year after 4 months stopped with no play, I understand and thank (everyone) for the efforts they are putting in to make it happen. We have just seen the announcement of Madrid not being played this year," he added.
Djokovic to spearhead the event
World number one Novak Djokovic headlines the New York event along with last year's runner-up Daniil Medvedev. The other top 10 players include Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev. Besides, Swiss maestro Roger Federer will miss the event after he was forced to undergo knee surgery in June. The 38-year-old had earlier ruled himself out of the entire season.
Djokovic leads the race in absence of Nadal and Federer
This will be the first occasion since 1999 when both Nadal and Federer will miss a Grand Slam event together. In this case, Djokovic appears to be front runner-up for the title race. The Serbian could win his 18th Grand Slam singles title.
Here is the women's draw for US Open
The women's entrants include as many as 13 Grand Slam winners and nine of the world's top 10 players. With Ahsleigh Barty withdrawing from the event citing "significant risks", the women's draw will be headlined by Romania's Simona Halep and the reigning Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin. The experienced Serena Williams will also be chasing her seventh US Open title.
USTA to select eight wild-card entries ahead of US Open
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) said eight additional wild-card entries would be selected in both men's and women's segments. Notably, the seedings would be announced ahead of the US Open.