The latest player to pull out of the US Open tennis competition is 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard, in fact, called time on his entire 2021 season in a video message he shared on social media. Rafa, who had clinched his fourth title at New York two years go, is still being troubled by the foot injury which he reportedly aggravated at the French Open.
While the 35-year-old had already been forced to miss the Wimbledon as well as the Olympics owing to the same issue, he has gone on record saying he would fight to further prolong his illustrious career.
"Hello everyone, I wanted to inform you that unfortunately, I have to end the 2021 season," Rafa wrote in a lengthy post on Instagram. "Honestly, I have been suffering a lot more than I should with my foot for a year and I need to take some time," he said.
"Having discussed it with the team and family, this decision has been made and I believe that it is the way forward to try to recover and recover well," he added.
"It is a year that I have missed things that matter a lot to me, such as Wimbledon, such as the Olympics, how the United States Open is going to be now, (and) many other events that are also important to me," he further wrote.
"In view of the fact that during the latter year I have not had the ability to train and prepare and compete in the way that I really like to… I came to the conclusion that what I need is time to recover," he said.
However, his statement of intent will act as a huge relief for his fans. Nadal said that he is determined to do whatever it takes to regain the best possible shape and to continue to compete in events that motivate him and do the things that he had been doing over all these years. He even said that he is convinced that his recovery is possible and he would work hard to make it happen.
Other than Nadal, defending champion Dominic Thiem, five-time winner Roger Federer and 2016 champion Stan Wawrinka have already pulled out of the US Open which makes world number 1 Novak Djokovic all the more favourite to complete the calendar Grand Slam.