Rafael Nadal will not compete in US Open due to COVID-19 concerns
Rafael Nadal will not participate in the U.S. Open this year. The No. 2-ranked player in the world won the tournament last year.
The tournament, which will be held in Flushing, New York without fans, will be the first major tennis tournament since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
News of Nadal's withdrawal originally came when the U.S. Open released its list of competitors Tuesday afternoon and Nadal's name was not on it.
The Spanish player put out a statement on Twitter explaining his decision, stating that he did not wish to travel when the virus was still widespread.
"The situation is very complicated worldwide," he said. "The COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don't have control of it."
After four months of no play, Nadal called the tennis calendar "barbaric" and commended the efforts of the USTA and the U.S. Open organizers to make the event happen. However, Nadal said that, "I have decided to follow my heart at this time and for the time being I rather not travel."
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. pic.twitter.com/8VA0aSACVy
Three of the world's top five have decided to enter the event, including No. 1 Novak Djokovic, No. 3 Dominic Thiem and No. 5 Daniil Medvedev.
No. 4 Roger Federer is out for the season with an injury.
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