Wrist keeps Nadal out of U.S. Open

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Wrist keeps Nadal out of U.S. Open

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Rafael Nadal

Reigning champion Rafael Nadal pulled out of the U.S. Open because of an injury on Monday for the second time in three years, leaving Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer as the men to beat in the year’s last Grand Slam tournament.

Nadal announced his withdrawal, blamed on a bad right wrist, a week before play begins at Flushing Meadows.

“I am sure you understand 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,’’ a posting on Nadal’s Facebook page read. “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.’’

The second-ranked Nadal plays left-handed, but he uses a two-handed backhand.

The 14-time major champion was hurt July 29 practicing on his home island of Mallorca ahead of the North American hard-court circuit. The next day, Nadal announced he needed to wear a cast on his wrist for two to three weeks and would be sitting out tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati.

The 28-year-old Spaniard also said at that time he expected to return for the U.S. Open.

Nadal is 44-8 with four titles in 2014, including his record ninth French Open trophy in June. He has not competed since losing in the fourth round of Wimbledon on July 1.

With Nadal sidelined, five-time U.S. Open champion Federer joins Djokovic as a favorite in New York - even if there are questions about them.

Federer turned 33 this month, and it’s been more than two years since he won one of his record 17 Grand Slam titles. But he is coming off a runner-up finish at Wimbledon last month and a hard-court title at the Cincinnati Masters on Sunday.

After beating David Ferrer 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 on Sunday, Federer declared: “My game’s exactly where I want it to be.”

Djokovic won Wimbledon to take the No. 1 ranking from Nadal, but had a rough time on hard courts, losing his second match in both Toronto and Cincinnati.

Still, Djokovic will be seeded No. 1 at the U.S. Open. The draw is Thursday.

AP









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