Rafael Nadal withdraws from US Open
Tennis star Rafael Nadal announced on Twitter Tuesday that he will not play in the US Open this summer due to injury. The 26-year-old Spaniard has not played since losing in the second round of Wimbledon in June, marking his worst finish on the grass of the All England Lawn and Tennis Club since 2005.
He appears to be suffering from a recurrence of the knee tendinitis that forced him to miss three months of tournaments (including Wimbledon) in 2009.
The injury has cost him quite a bit this year. Following his loss at Wimbledon, Nadal withdrew from the London Olympics, a moment Nadal called one of the saddest days of his career. Nadal was the reigning gold medalist in Olympic tennis and was slated to carry the flag for Spain in the Opening Ceremony. Pau Gasol took over flag-bearing duties in place of Nadal.
Prior to his early Wimbledon exit, Nadal seemed to be surpassing Novak Djokovic as one of the best players of the year. Djokovic began the year ranked No. 1 with Nadal right behind him as the World No. 2, but Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray had all been playing well up to the French Open to knock Djokovic’s ranking down. Nadal won the French Open in four sets over Djokovic in May, marking the seventh time he won the French Open in his career.
Since then, Nadal has been paralyzed by his knee injury. Because he has not played since Wimbledon, he has had to watch from the sidelines as his world ranking dropped to No. 3, and Murray, at 695 points behind Nadal, is poised to surpass the Spaniard soon.