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Tennis Star RAFA Nadal Pulls Out Of “Cincinnati” And U.S. Open; Rome Next For Him With Madrid Cancelled?

By Ricky Dimon

Rafael Nadal has been practicing on clay at home in Spain while professional tennis continues to be suspended as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, we got confirmation of the reason why.

In big news but not shocking news, Nadal announced that he will skip what is left of the American hard-court swing: the Western & Southern Open (previously in Cincinnati) and the U.S. Open–both to be played at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York. The world No. 2 is a three-time U.S. Open and also the defending champion, having outlasted Daniil Medvedev in a thrilling five-set final last summer.

“After many thoughts, I have decided not to play this year’s US Open,” Nadal posted on his social media channels. “The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don’t have control of it. We know that the reduced tennis calendar is barbaric this year after 4 months stopped with no play, I understand and thank for the efforts they are putting in to make it happen.

Rafael Nadal in Capdepera, Majorca, Balearics Islands, Spain, 02 August 2020.

“All my respects to the USTA, the US Open organisers and the ATP for trying to put the event together for the players and the fans around the world through TV. This is a decision I never wanted to take but I have decided to follow my heart this time and for the time being I rather not travel.”

Nadal won’t be traveling to Madrid, either, because that Masters 1000 event was officially cancelled on Tuesday.

“The WTA and ATP regret to confirm the cancellation of the 2020 Mutua Madrid Open, a decision that has been taken in line with local authorities due to health and safety concerns,” the two tours said in a joint statement. “We would like to recognize the efforts of the tournament organizers who have gone to great lengths in exploring all options to run this year’s tournament, despite the many challenges presented by COVID-19. Both Tours are assessing updates to the 2020 provisional calendars in regards to events following the US Open, and an update will be published in due course.”

As of right now, Rome is next on the schedule from Sept. 20-27 and will be followed by the French Open in late September and early October.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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