Rafael Nadal withdraws from US Open, forced to end season early due to injury

Rafael Nadal has announced his withdrawal from the US Open and the remainder of the 2021 season due to a lingering foot injury.

The 20-time grand slam champion took to social media to explain his decision to get his body right, adding he is determined to get back on the court contending for major tournaments.

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Nadal had only returned to the court earlier this month after pulling out of Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics with a foot injury.

He lost his second match at the Citi Open in Washington to South African Lloyd Harris, before withdrawing from a hard court tournament in Toronto due to the same injury.

Nadal announced his decision to miss the remainder of the season on Twitter in a lengthy thread in Spanish, while addressing his fans on Instagram in both Spanish and English.

“I am very sorry to announce that I will not be able to be playing tennis during the 2021 season,” the 35-year-old said on Instagram.

“But as you know, I have been suffering too much with my foot for the last year now.

Rafael Nadal won’t compete at the US Open. (Photo by MARTIN BUREAU / AFP)Source:AFP

“I missed a lot of important tournaments for me like the US Open now, like Wimbledon, the Olympics and many other events that are so important and emotional for me.

“After coming back from Toronto, I took a couple of days to think about, talk with my family, with my team and with my doctor especially to understand what’s going on.

A post shared by Rafa Nadal (@rafaelnadal)

“But the foot is not a proper way today. During the last year I was not able to practice and prepare myself the way that I need to, to be competitive at the standards that I want to be.

“So we had to take that decision but I am confident that I will recover myself 100 per cent and I will be able to fight again for the most important things.”

Nadal revealed it is a recurrence of the same foot injury he has been managing throughout his entire career.

The world No. 4 said he was determined to get his body healthy and get back to competing at his high standards at grand slams.

“I am confident that I will recover again. If the foot is better I am confident that my tennis and my mentality will be there again soon,” he said.

“The only thing you can be sure (of is) I’m going to fight every single day to make that happen.

“(There) remain a couple of beautiful years (of my career), I really think about it and I hope to see you soon.

It’s the second year in a row neither Nadal or Roger Federer will be at the US Open. Photo: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images/AFPSource:AFP

“I want to say thanks in advance to all the fans for all the messages, especially during these hard moments, all the messages are helpful.

“Thanks for the support as always. Don’t have any doubt that I will miss you a lot I will be back and I will be back the right way.”

Nadal hasn’t played at grand slam level since he lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-finals of the French Open.

He joins Roger Federer and defending champion Dominic Thiem as high-profile withdrawals from the US Open.

It is the second year in a row neither Nadal nor Federer will play at the US Open.

It means Novak Djokovic is the only member of tennis’ “Big Three” that will complete at Flushing Meadows.

The world No. 1 will go into the year’s final major as the red-hot favourite and complete his calendar grand slam, after winning the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon earlier this year.

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