De­fend­ing champ Nadal opts out of U.S. Open

Times Colonist - - Sports -

NEW YORK — De­fend­ing cham­pion Rafael Nadal will skip the U.S. Open be­cause of the coro­n­avirus pan­demic, putting on hold his bid to equal Roger Fed­erer’s men’s record for Grand Slam ti­tles.

Nadal ex­plained his de­ci­sion in a se­ries of tweets sent in Span­ish and English on Tues­day.

“The sit­u­a­tion is very com­pli­cated world­wide, the COVID-19 cases are in­creas­ing, it looks like we still don’t have con­trol of it,” Nadal wrote.

The 34-year-old from Spain called sit­ting out the tour­na­ment sched­uled to be­gin Aug. 31 in New York “a de­ci­sion I never wanted to take,” but added that he would “rather not travel.”

The cur­rent No. 1-ranked woman, Ash Barty, al­ready had an­nounced she would be miss­ing the U.S. Open. The U.S. Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion’s entry list an­nounce­ments Tues­day noted that 2019 women’s cham­pion Bianca An­dreescu is in the field.

The tours have been on hia­tus since March be­cause of the COVID-19 out­break, with play re­sum­ing for women on Mon­day in Palermo, Italy.

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