On his Twitter account Tuesday, tennis legend and four-time, reigning U.S. Open champion Rafael Nadal announced that he would not be playing in the open this year citing concerns about the coronavirus. “After many thoughts I have decided not to play this year’s US Open. The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don’t have control of it,” Nadal tweeted.

 

Nadal continued, “We know that the reduced tennis calendar is barbaric this year after 4 months stopped with no play, I understand and thank for the efforts they are putting in to make it happen. We have just seen the announcement of Madrid not being played this year.”

 

This is bad news for tennis if a true contender and perennial contender is deciding to forego a grand slam tournament means that many other players will be close behind. If more players choose to withdraw, then there could be serious legitimacy questions surrounding this year’s tournament and the champion who wins it all.  This will be the first final contested without Nadal or Roger Federer since 1999 with Federer being out after two knee surgeries this year.

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