Nadal on Djokovic’s absence from the US Open: ‘I’m sorry for him’

Nadal on Djokovic’s absence from the US Open: ‘I’m sorry for him’

Raphael Nadal come back to New Yorkthe city where he was proclaimed champion on his last visit to play the U.S. Open.

Three years have passed since he defeated Daniil Medvedev in a five-set final to win the tournament for the fourth time in the season’s calendar. Grand Slams In season.

Now he says present without looking around Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer — the other members of the “Big Three” of world tennis, winners of 59 of the last 69 majors.

Federer, who turned 41 on August 8, has not played since his quarter-final elimination from Wimbledon in July 2021. Shortly after, he had surgery on his left knee for the third time in a year and a half. . The Swiss star is expected to reappear at the end of next month in the Laver Cup, an exhibition tournament to be played in Londonand would return to competitive tennis in his native Basel in October.

The absence of Djokovic is due to the fact that he does not meet the requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19[feminine] to be able to enter United States. The 35-year-old Serb is adamant about not getting vaccinated, a stance that also kept him out of the Australian Open in January – so much so that he ended up being kicked out after a legal battle.

Seeded second at Flushing Meadows, Nadal has the opportunity at hand to distance himself from Djokovic in the fight for the most titles at major events. The Spaniard leads with 22 titles, followed by Djokovic with 21 and Federer with 20.

“Personally, I’m sorry for him that he can’t travel hereNadal said on Friday about Djokovic.

“We already knew he wouldn’t be playing if the rules (of entering the United States) didn’t change. It’s always a shame that the best players in the world can’t play in a tournament because of injuries or for various reasons,” he added at a press conference.

Novak Djokovic will miss the US Open

Thus, any possibility that New York is the scene of a 60th duel between Nadal and Djokovic, who have monopolized 15 of the last 17 champion trophies in the majors, has been ruled out.

According to Nadal, the US Open is moving forward, just like tennis. “I repeat something that I have said several times: sport is bigger than any player“, he claimed. “I missed many important tournaments in my career because of injuries. I was not there last year. Two years ago, either… It’s not good news, but the world goes on and tennis will go on after me, Novak, Roger. Each year we will have a different champion.

Nadal will make his debut on Tuesday against Rinky Hijikata, a 21-year-old Australian who received a wildcard from the organization and is currently ranked No.


Rafa Nadal will attempt his 23rd Grand Slam at the US Open

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