US Open: Defending champion Rafael Nadal withdraws from upcoming tournament
Last Updated: 19/08/14 5:23pm
Defending champion Rafa Nadal has been forced to pull out of the US Open because of injury.
The world No 2 has not played since his shock defeat to Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon last month.
He suffered an injury to his right wrist at home in Mallorca on 29 July whilst practicing for the US hardcourt season. He was advised by doctors to wear a cast for two to three weeks but the problem forced him to miss the Rogers Cup in Toronto and last week's Cincinnati Open.
And the Spaniard confirmed on his Facebook page that the injury would now force him to miss the last Grand Slam event of the year, which begins next Monday.
Nadal said: “I am very sorry to announce I won’t be able to play at this year’s US Open a tournament in which I’ve played in three consecutive finals.
“I am sure you understand that it is a very tough moment for me since it is a tournament I love and where I have great memories from fans, the night matches, so many things…
“Not much more I can do right now, other than accept the situation and, as always in my case, work hard in order to be able to compete at the highest level once I am back.”
The problem is a new one for Nadal to deal with after long-running battles with his knees. Though he plays left-handed, he has a double-handed backhand.
Nadal has reached the final in his last three appearances at Flushing Meadows and on each occasion he played Novak Djokovic.
He beat the Serbian in 2010 and last year, and lost to him in 2011. Nadal missed the 2012 US Open because of a knee injury which kept him on the sidelines for nine months.
He won his 14th Grand Slam title on the clay of Roland Garros in May this year, but his pursuit of Roger Federer's record 17 trophies will go on hold until the Australian Open in January at least.
It is only the fourth time in the Open era, which began in 1968, that the reigning US Open men's champion has been unable to defend his title.
Nadal's absence means in-form world No 3 Roger Federer - who won the Cincinnati Masters on Sunday - will be seeded second behind Djokovic.
Watch the US Open live on Sky Sports 3 with coverage beginning at 4pm on Monday August 25.