New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Defending champion and world No. 2 Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the US Open due to a nagging right wrist injury, which limited him just to four matches after winning his record ninth French Open earlier this year.
“I am very sorry to announce I won’t be able to play at this year’s US Open a tournament on which I’ve played 3 consecutive finals in my last participations,” Nadal said in a statement.
“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,” added Nadal, who aggravated his right wrist in late July and hasn’t played since.
Nadal, who will miss his third Grand Slam in the last two years, promised to work hard to be able to compete at the highest level in his return.
Nadal’s withdrawal marked the fourth time in the Open era a defending champion won’t play in New York. He also became the first player to not defend his Grand Slam title since Juan Martin Del Potro missed the 2010 US Open with a wrist injury.
With Del Potro also out in New York, the men’s field is left with just four former champions: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Lleyton Hewitt. The tournament will begin next Monday.
Nadal defeated Djokovic in last year’s final to win his second U.S. Open title. Earlier this year, he won his record ninth French Open, but has only played four matches since, losing his No. 1 ranking in the process.
If Federer wins the title, he will officially replace Nadal as the No. 2 player in the world.