NEW YORK — Rafael Nadal announced Tuesday that he wasn’t heading to New York to play the US Open, which he’s won two of the last three years.
Nadal cited widespread uncertainty about the coronavirus, which is still raging through the United States and recently spiked in Spain, where Nadal lives. The Madrid Open was canceled on Tuesday because of the Spanish spike.
In a statement posted on Instagram in Spanish and English, Nadal called tennis’ return schedule “barbaric,” although he also said “I understand and thank for the efforts they are putting in to make it happen.”
The US Open is scheduled for Aug. 31-Sept. 13 in Flushing, without fans or even line judges at most courts. Just two weeks later, the French Open will kick off in Paris.
Nadal is only the most recent big name to pull out of the US Open.
Australians Nick Kyrgios and Ashleigh Barty also pulled out earlier this week. Barty is the women’s world No. 1 and the defending French Open champion.
Roger Federer withdrew from the entire 2020 tennis season after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in February. And Novak Djokovic said he likely would not be making the trip to the US Open back in June because of coronavirus concerns.
Among the top players who maintained they would still compete in the tournament this year are Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka.
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