Rafael Nadal withdraws from US Open over coronavirus concerns

Defending champion Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the US Open citing concerns over coronavirus.

The four-time winner at Flushing Meadows does not want to travel to the United States for the event, which begins on August 31, while Covid-19 cases are on the rise.

A spike in coronavirus in Nadal’s Spain homeland has already led to the cancellation of the Madrid Open.

A statement from the tournament read: “As an act of responsibility in view of the current situation caused by Covid-19, and having thoroughly evaluated the circumstances that the pandemic continues to generate, together with the competent authorities, it has been decided that 2020 Mutua Madrid Open will not take place this year having previously been moved to September 12-20.

“Following the strong recommendation of the local health authorities, and having monitored the situation for months, the organisers of the Mutua Madrid Open have no choice but to cancel the tournament due to the complex situation that Covid-19 continues to generate in every regard.

“In addition, and after a spike in Covid-19 cases, the community of Madrid announced a few days ago a number of new measures to control the virus’ spread, including a directive that social gatherings are to be reduced to 10 people, both in public and private meetings, further reducing the feasibility of operating the tournament.”

The women’s WTA Tour resumed this week with the Palermo Open, with one unidentified player pulling out on the eve of the tournament after testing positive for coronavirus, while the men’s ATP Tour will start for the first time since March on August 22.

That tournament, the Western & Southern Open, will serve as a warm-up event for the US Open, played on the same site a week later.

“The WTA and ATP regret to confirm the cancellation of the 2020 Mutua Madrid Open, a decision that has been taken in line with local authorities due to health and safety concerns,” said a joint statement.

“We would like to recognise the efforts of the tournament organisers who have gone to great lengths in exploring all options to run this year’s tournament, despite the many challenges presented by Covid-19.

“Both tours are assessing updates to the 2020 provisional calendars in regards to events following the US Open and an update will be published in due course.”


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