A nagging knee injury has forced Nadal to officially withdraw from the US Open. The tournament which starts from the 27th of August won’t feature him in the draw as well.
The 26 year old Spaniard withdrew from the U.S. Open on Wednesday. Tendinitis has kept him out of action since his stunning second round loss to Lukas Rosol (ranked 100) at Wimbledon in late June.
The injury already forced him out of the London Olympics, where he was supposed to defend his title and carry Spain’s flag in the opening ceremony.
“I am very sad to announce that I am not ready to play the US Open in NY,” announced Nadal on the micro-blogging site Twitter. “Thanks to my fans for their support and specially, the new yorkers.”
The US Open added that they understood his decision and hoped he would return in 2013.
“Rafa has informed us that he will not be ready to compete at the US Open this year and has withdrawn from the tournament,” tournament director Dave Brewer said.
“We hope to see him back on the court soon and look forward to his return to New York next year.”
His recurring knee problems have definitely raised questions about his future. It goes back to 2009 when Nadal missed Wimbledon because of aching knees shortly after falling in the round of 16 at the French Open – the only time in eight appearances he hasn’t won at Roland Garros. He was just the second men’s champion in 35 years to decline to defend his title at the All England Club.
Knee injury forced him to withdraw from the Australian Open in 2010 and in March of this year he had to pull out of a semi-final clash with Andy Murray at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami due to a knee problem.
His 11 Grand Slam titles include a record seven on the red clay of the French Open, yet his hard-charging, hard-hitting style of play takes a toll on his body, particularly his knees.
Nadal was not one of the favourites for Flushing Meadows – with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic boasting stronger records in New York and Andy Murray in good form on hard courts – although he would have been expected to at least reach the semi-finals.
He did win his seventh French Open title at Roland Garros earlier this season, but has slipped to world number three following the resurgence of Federer.
That spot could be under threat if world number four Murray continues his superb run, which has seen him reach the Wimbledon final and win Olympic gold.