World No.2 and defending champion, Rafael Nadal, on Tuesday, decided to opt out of the impending US Open 2020 citing COVID-19 concerns. The tournament will begin from August 31 onwards in New York.
"After much thought I have decided not to participate in this year's US Open. The health situation is still very complicated worldwide with cases of COVID-19 and outbreaks that seem out of control. We know that this year's calendar after 4 months without playing is outrageous. Although I understand and appreciate the efforts that all parties are putting into tournaments," Nadal wrote on Twitter,
"Today the situation is difficult to do tournaments and all my respect to the USTA, organizers of the US Open and the ATP for the efforts they are making to play the tournament for the millions of fans who will see it on TV or on digital platforms. This is a decision that I would not want to make but in this case I follow my heart to decide that for now I prefer not to travel," he added.
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— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) August 4, 2020
This is the first grand slam since 2004 that the Big Three won't be part of. Roger Federer had earlier opted out of the remainder of the season owing to a surgery. This will also be the first grand slam since US Open 1999 that Federer and Nadal are both not part.
Nadal had defeated Daniil Medvedev in a five-set thriller last September to win his 19th Grand Slam title.
Nadal is yet to take a decision on the French Open which is slated to begin in the final week of September.