Current US Open champion Rafael Nadal shocked the tennis world when he announced he would not take part at Flushing Meadows due to health concerns over the coronavirus pandemic and with it comes an unwanted slice of tennis history.
Women's world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty of Australia announced July 29 that she wouldn't risk global travel to compete at the U.S. Open amid the pandemic.
Most of Court's titles came before the Open Era, including Australian Opens that didn't include numerous world's top players. "The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don't have control of it", Nadal said in a tweet.
Reigning champion Bianca Andreescu and Ash Barty, the top-ranked women's tennis player, also announced that they would be opting out of the U.S. Open.
"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".
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"This is a decision I never wanted to take but I have chose to follow my heart this time and for the time being I rather not travel", Nadal added. Nadal has 19. And Djokovic, 33, claimed his 17th major at the season's outset by winning a record eighth Australian Open. She defeated Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final last September to become the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles championship.
That means any potential gain on Nadal for Djokovic in the GOAT race from the U.S. Open could be short-lived.
Not since the last century - the 1999 U.S. Open - have both Federer and Nadal been absent from the main draw at a Grand Slam.
Nadal's plan to skip the U.S. Open came shortly after the Madrid Open, scheduled for September, was canceled because of the pandemic.
Twenty-three-time Grand Slam victor Serena Williams was confirmed as part of the women's draw, as was defending champion Bianca Andreescu and former victor Naomi Osaka.
World No 1 Novak Djokovic will be the only member of the Big Three taking part in the 2020 US Open as Rafael Nadal has decided not to enter while another former victor in Stan Wawrinka is also absent from the entry list. Djokovic, a three-time US Open champion, will be joined by world number three Dominic Thiem, world number 5 Daniil Medvedev and sixth-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas.