Rafael Nadal won’t defend US Open title amid COVID-19 concerns

Rafael Nadal, the world’s second ranked men’s tennis player, today said he will not defend his US Open title due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Tennis player Roger Federer said he will skip this year’s US Open due to the coronavirus.

Nadal shared his decision in a series of tweets posted to his page.

The Spanish native said, “The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don’t have control of it.”

The decision is not one he wanted to make, Nadal said, but continued that he would “rather not travel”.

Spain’s Rafael Nadal returns a shot to Daniil Medvedev of Russia during the men’s singles final of the 2019 US Open tennis championships in New York. (AP Photo/Sarah Stier, File)

“We know that the reduced tennis calendar is barbaric this year after 4 months stopped with no play,” the four-time US Open champion said. “I understand and thank for the efforts they are putting in to make it happen.”

Winning the US Open would have seen Nadal earn his 20th Grand Slam title, equalling Roger Federer’s leading mark.

The US Open will get underway on August 31.