by Randy Walker
Rafael Nadal will not be competing in the 2012 US Open.
The U.S. Tennis Association announced Nadal’s withdrawal from the year’s final major tournament on Wednesday.
“Rafa has informed us that he will not be ready to compete at the US Open this year and has withdrawn from the tournament,” US Open Tournament Director David Brewer announced in a statement. “We hope to see him back on the court soon and look forward to his return to New York next year.”
In reality, it is not a surprise that the Spaniard is not going to compete this year in New York after his withdrawals from the major US Open tune-ups in Toronto and Cincinnati, due to the physical problems with his knees, blamed on tendinitis. Nadal last played in his second-round loss to Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon in late June. He also was forced to emotionally withdraw from the Olympic Games in London where he was the defending gold medallist and was tapped to carry the Spanish flag in the Opening Ceremonies.
“It’s very disappointing for the sport and for his incredible fan base,” said Justin Gimelstob on Tennis Channel. “His game takes such a physical toll. I talked to him after the French Open and he told me his knee was struggling. (He said) it was very tender.”
Federer, speaking to reporters Tuesday from Cincinnati prior to the announcement of his withdrawal, said he was concerned for the health of his main rival.
“I thought for sure we would see him in Toronto, but now he missed Toronto and Cincinnati. It’s very surprising, because it was nothing that we heard of prior to the injury,” said Federer. “He played so well on clay, and then actually seemed fine at Wimbledon. He had more (recovery) time by losing earlier at Wimbledon.”
Nadal, ranked No. 3 in the world, has won 11 major singles titles including the 2010 US Open and the French Open earlier this year.
The US Open begins August 27 in New York.