“It’s a decision I wish I had never made but I decided to follow my heart this time and this time he tells me that I prefer not to travel…”
Title holder at the US Open, Rafael Nadal explained this Tuesday evening that he gave up making the trip to New York, where the Masters 1000 delocalized from Cincinnati must take place and then the American lifting of the Grand Slam (August 31 – 13 September).
“After a long reflection, I decided not to play this year, justifies the world n ° 2, who had already expressed serious doubts about a possible participation and has been training on clay for several weeks. The situation is very complicated all over the world, cases of Covid-19 are on the increase, it seems that we do not have control over it yet. “
A dream opportunity for Djokovic
The Mallorcan will not be the only one to ignore the crossing of the Atlantic. Gaël Monfils or Stan Wawrinka will stay in Europe to prepare for the short season on earth, now cut off from the Masters 1000 in Madrid. Fabio Fognini, Nick Kyrgios or the Australian world n ° 1 Ashleigh Barty have also decided to abstain.
“We know that this shortened schedule is barbaric this year after four months without playing,” adds Nadal, whose main objective remains a thirteenth coronation at Roland Garros, which is to take place from September 27 to October 11. By ignoring New York, the King of Paris does not have much to lose anyway. The ATP ranking, modified due to the pandemic, allows it to retain the points acquired last year.
For the first time in 21 years, a major tournament – if it does take place – is about to open without Nadal and Federer, who ended their season after right knee surgery. The perfect opportunity for Novak Djokovic to get back on the heels of his two rivals in the event of success on central Arthur-Ashe. For now, Federer has 20 Grand Slam titles, Nadal 19 and the Serbian 17.