Spain’s tennis great Rafael Nadal has announced that he will not be participating in the 2021 US Open after he suffered a foot injury, putting an end to his 2021 season prematurely as he will not be back on the court until 2022.
World number four Nadal was part of the lineup for the Cincinnati Masters and Canadian Open last week, but pulled out due to his injury before finally announcing that he won’t be back in time for the US Open. The 35-year-old has had a trophyless year, with world number one Novak Djokovic completely dominating the sport. The Serbian has won all three Grand Slams that have been played this year, including Nadal’s favoured French Open, even defeating the Spaniard en route to the title in Roland Garros. Nadal was defeated in the Round of 16 of the Washington Open earlier this month by South Africa’s Lloyd Harris, causing him to drop down to fourth in the ATP rankings.
Nadal has battled with a raft of injuries throughout his career, with a series of knee injuries threatening to end his career in the late 2010s before he recovered sufficiently well to maintain a steady appearance on the court. The 35-year-old won his 20th Grand Slam in 2020 at Roland Garros to tie Roger Federer’s record haul of 20, but has yet to win a single Grand Slam since then, and has seen Djokovic equal their tally of 20 Grand slam titles. Djokovic has a chance to move past the great duo in the US Open as he would not have to worry about their participation in the tournament. 40-year-old Roger Federer announced that he would miss the competition due to his requiring a knee surgery, and now, Nadal has also pulled out of the competition, leaving the Serb in prime position to claim a record 21st title. Nadal has joined Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka in pulling out of the tournament due to health issues.