Rafael Nadal withdraws from U.S. Open, shuts down for 2021
Citing a chronic foot injury, Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the U.S. Open and will be shutting down for the rest of the 2021 season.
The injury to Nadal's left foot has tormented him since his teens, and most recently forced him to withdraw from high-profile events like Wimbledon and the Olympics. Earlier, Nadal fell in the semifinals of the French Open, an event he has dominated for the past decade-plus.
Nadal attempted a return in Washington earlier this month, but fell in the second round of the Citi Open. He traveled to Toronto for the National Bank Open before withdrawing. Friday, he announced his news in a statement posted to social media:
Hear the latest from Rafa as he ends his 2021 season 👇
(via @RafaelNadal) pic.twitter.com/tKLn6RQ89y
— ATP Tour (@atptour) August 20, 2021
“I needed to talk with my family, with my team and with my doctors especially to understand what is going on,” Nadal said. “But the foot is not the proper way today and during the last year I was not able to practice and prepare myself the way I need to to be competitive at the standard I want to be. So we had to make that decision, but I am confident that I will recover myself 100 percent and I will be able to fight again for the most important things.”
Nadal opted out of the U.S. Open last year because of COVID restrictions. He has four U.S. Open titles and last won the event in 2019. His withdrawal means the U.S. Open will be without Nadal and Roger Federer for a second straight year. Federer withdrew earlier this month, citing a need for further knee surgery.
Nadal, Federer and Novak Djokovic each have 20 majors to their name. Djokovic will be seeking a record-breaking 21st, along with the Grand Slam, at the U.S. Open.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee and contact him at email@example.com.
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