Rafael Nadal insists US Open ‘is still a big tournament, it’s a Grand Slam’ despite withdrawals
The US Open may have had some high-profile withdrawals, but Rafael Nadal is adamant that it has not lost its glamour and “the winner will feel it”.
The 19-time major champion on Tuesday announced that he would not defend his title this year as “COVID-19 cases are increasing” and “it looks like we still don’t have control of it”.
His withdrawal came on the back of women’s world No 1 Ashleigh Barty and men’s world No 40 Nick Kyrgios also announcing that they would not be travelling to New York for the hard-court Grand Slam.
There have been suggestions that the tournament could turn into a farce if more players withdraw, but Nadal is having none of it.
“The tournament is still big, it’s a Grand Slam,” the Spaniard said during video conference. “I am not that kind of a person, I am not that arrogant to say that the tournament in not big enough because I’m not playing.
“Of course, it will be a tournament under special circumstances but still a Grand Slam, and the winner will feel it, like a Grand Slam winner.”
World No 1 Novak Djokovic and former champion Andy Murray are on the entry list for the men while Serena Williams is one of 13 major winners in the women’s field.
Nadal was asked about the decision to go ahead with the tournament despite the coronavirus pandemic.
“I know my words can have repercussions. It’s difficult to say if it’s the right or not right decision,” he said. “I personally respect the positive intention and the amount of work USTA and ATP are doing to bring back our Tour.
“I respect and understand that there are lot of players that are in different situations than me and need to play. They need to make some money because they are facing financial problems.”
Follow us on Twitter @T365Official.
Exclusive – Tennis needs to build ‘female workforce’ to reach a new audience
Judy Murray wants to see more women participating in tennis at all levels.
Naomi Osaka will not play at Wimbledon but she is preparing to return to the game
Wimbledon is set to begin on June 28 and Naomi Osaka will be missing.
Andy Murray insists his ambition is not dented after compressive defeat at Queen’s Club
The Scot was overpowered 6-3 6-3.
Wimbledon organisers defend online ticket sale amid complaints from fans
Vast majority of those applying had no issues.
Impressive Matteo Berrettini ends Andy Murray’s Queen’s Club comeback
Andy Murray was overpowered by Matteo Berrettini.
‘I’m just pleased to have come through,’ Dan Evans after easing into Queen’s Club last eight
British No 1 secured a two-set win over the Frenchman.
‘The goal is to prolong my career,’ says Rafael Nadal as he withdraws from Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics
Rafael Nadal opts to take an extended.
Rafael Nadal’s Wimbledon withdrawal may be a sign of what is to come
Kevin Palmer on Rafael Nadal’s Wimbledon withdrawal.
A list of Roger Federer’s defeats on grass. Can you name the 24 players who have beaten him on the surface?
A full list of Roger Federer’s 28 defeats on grass.
‘The tank is quite empty,’ says Kiki Bertens as she announces 2021 will be her final season
Kiki Bertens to call it a day.