World No. 3 Rafael Nadal has confirmed doubts over his participation in the U.S. Open by formally withdrawing from the tournament.
The Spaniard has struggled with a knee injury that has sidelined him since his early exit at Wimbledon to unseeded Lukas Rosol.
On Twitter, Nadal confirmed that he would miss the Open, saying:
I am very sad to announce that I am not ready to play the US Open in NY. Thanks to my fans for their support and specially, the new yorkers.
According to ESPN, Nadal previously feared he would miss the U.S. Open, saying: "I don’t know if I’ll be ready in time for the US Open. I can’t say yes or no. It is not the same as other years and I have found it a little different."
U.S. Open tournament director David Brewer acknowledged Nadal's absence: "We hope to see him [Nadal] back on the court soon and look forward to his return to New York next year."
With this absence, Nadal will have not only missed the Olympics and the Masters events at Toronto and Cincinnati, he will be missing the US Open for the first time in his career and will be at risk of further dropping down the rankings.
I thought for sure we would see him in Tornoto, but now he missed Toronto and Cincinnati. It’s very surprising, because it was nothing that we heard of prior to the injury.
He played so well on clay and then actually seemed fine at Wimbledon. He had more recovery time by losing earlier at Wimbledon. I’m sad for him. I hope he’ll be back for the Open.
The consequences of Nadal's absence may have an impact beyond their effect on the Spaniard, himself. If the U.S. Open draw turns out like it did in Wimbledon, it may pave the way for another finals appearance for Britain’s Andy Murray, who is still searching for his first Grand Slam title after winning gold at the Olympics.