TennisTuesday, August 19, 2014
Nadal won’t defend US Open title
The Spaniard has not played since Wimbledon because of wrist injury
Champion Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the US Open after failing to recover from a right wrist injury. The 28-year-old Spaniard sustained the injury in practice last month.
NEW YORK — Reigning champion Rafael Nadal pulled out of the US Open because of an injury for the second time in three years yesterday, leaving Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer as the men to beat at the year’s last Grand Slam tournament.
Nadal announced his withdrawal, blamed on a bad right wrist, one week before play begins at Flushing Meadows.
“I am sure you understand that it is a very tough moment for me since it is a tournament I love and where I have great memories from fans, the night matches, so many things,” a posting on Nadal’s Facebook page read. “Not much more I can do right now, other than accept the situation and, as always in my case, work hard in order to be able to compete at the highest level once I am back.”
The second-ranked Nadal plays left-handed, but he uses a two-handed backhand.
The 14-time major champion was hurt July 29 while practicing on his home island of Mallorca ahead of the North American hard-court circuit. The next day, Nadal announced he needed to wear a cast on his wrist for two to three weeks and would be sitting out tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati.
The 28-year-old Spaniard also said at that time he expected to return for the US Open.
Instead, he’s the fourth man in the Open era, which began in 1968, to decline to try to defend his US Open title. The others were Ken Rosewall in 1971, Pete Sampras in 2003 and Juan Martín del Potro in 2010. Del Potro also is out of this year’s US Open after wrist surgery in March.
Nadal is 44-8 with four titles in 2014, including his record ninth French Open trophy in June. He has not competed since losing in the fourth round of Wimbledon on July 1.
With Nadal sidelined, five-time US Open champion Federer joins Djokovic as a favourite in New York — even if there are questions about them.
Nadal won his second US Open championship in 2013, part of a run of reaching the final in each of his last three appearances. He beat Djokovic to win the titles in 2010 and last year, and lost to Djokovic in 2011.
The one question about Nadal over the years has been his durability, on account of a hard-charging, play-each-point-as-if-it’s-your-last style.
He did not enter the US Open in 2012, part of an extended absence because of a problem with his left knee.
And this will be the second time Nadal chose to not attempt a defence of a major title: a year after winning Wimbledon in 2008, he missed that tournament with knee tendinitis.
WINSTON SALEM OPEN. Argentina’s Federico Delbonis beat Slovakia’s Martin Klizan 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 in one hour and 35 minutes yesterday in the first round of the Winston-Salem Open, a tuneup for next week’s US Open. Delbonis will next meet Italian Andreas Seppi.
Fellow-Argentine Carlos Berlocq lost to Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz 6-1 6-4.
In other matches, Belgian qualifier David Goffin defeated defending champion Jurgen Melzer of Austria 6-3 6-4.
Herald staff with AP