Rafael Nadal on US Open: ‘Going from hard court to clay would’ve been dangerous for my body’

US Open
Rafael Nadal press conference

Rafael Nadal has revealed that moving from the hard-court season to the clay-court season played a major role in his decision to skip the US Open as it would have been “dangerous for my body and my future”.

The world No 2 last week became the highest-profile male player to withdraw from this year’s US Open as he cited the coronavirus pandemic as the major reason for not defending his title.

Rafael Nadal insists US Open ‘is still a big tournament, it’s a Grand Slam’ despite withdrawals

However, the 19-time Grand Slam winner says the fact that the clay-court season follows directly after the US Open also had an impact.

The Flushing Meadows major runs from August 31-September 13 with the Austrian Open starting on September 7 followed by the Italian Open on September 21 before the red-dirt season draws to a conclusion with the French Open starting September 20.

“The health situation is the first basic inconvenience when making my decision,” Nadal said.

“The situation seems not in full control, so in this case, after consulting with my team, we decided to skip the US Open.

“Second, the schedule is challenging after many months without competing.

“Going from hard-court to clay, with hardly any time for preparation, is dangerous for my body and my future.

“Then, it is a matter of a personal spirit. The situation is as it is, and my spirit was not high enough to travel to New York and compete.

“If I am going to compete, all my senses have to be focused on competition to perform at my best, and it would have been difficult to achieve that.”

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