The fact that Rafa Nadal will not be defending his US Open crown is indeed a massive disappointment. He won it last year with a four set victory over Novak Djokovic with that fourth set being a crushing 6-1. But the decision to pull out of the Open should have come as no surprise.
Nadal has not played an event since Wimbledon and was forced to withdraw from the ATP Masters 1000s in Toronto and Cincinnati.
During practice a few weeks ago at home in Mallorca he injured his right wrist. The limb was put in a sort of cast for about three weeks but there was still hope he might get to play the Open.
That hope was dashed a couple of days ago and he made his sad announcement via his Facebook page Monday.
“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,” said Nadal. “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.”
You might think, why should it really matter, it’s his right wrist and he is a lefthander. The fact is that Nadal is actually a natural right hander, tennis is the only thing he does left handed, plus he plays with a double handed backhand and that’s where the injury really causes the problem.
This is not the first time that Nadal has failed to defend a major title he won from the previous year. In 2009 he was not able to defend the Wimbledon crown he won in 2008 because of tendinitis in his left knee.
He is also the fourth man in the Open-era not to defend a US Open crown – the others were Ken Rosewall in 1971, Pete Sampras in 2003 and Juan Martin Del Potro in 2010. Delpo is also out of this year’s Open.