Rafael Nadal says Novak Djokovic not competing at this year’s US Open is “very sad news.” On Thursday, Djokovic pulled out of the US Open. Djokovic was hoping until the last moment that the CDC would change their policy and allow him to enter the United States as an unvaccinated foreigner.
But that didn’t happen and Djokovic is out of the final Grand Slam of the season. Nadal, who is aiming to win his third Grand Slam in 2022, insists it’s always better to have all the top players. “It’s very sad news.
Not having one of the best players of the history in the draw of a grand slam is an important miss. We want to have the best field possible. But the sport is, in some ways, bigger than any player,” Nadal said, per James Gray.
Nadal on his abdominal injury
After being out for a month and a half, Nadal returned to action last week in Cincinnati, where he was beaten in his opener by Borna Coric.
“It has been tough. Dealing with the tear in the abdominal is a tough injury because it’s dangerous and risky. You need to find flexibility again because when you have a scar there at first it is not flexible,” Nadal said.
Earlier this year, Nadal took the advantage of Djokovic’s absence and won the Australian Open. “Novak is a great champion and it is very unfortunate that he will be unable to compete at the 2022 US Open, as he is unable to enter the country due to the federal government’s vaccination policy for non-US citizens.
We look forward to welcoming Novak back at the 2023 US Open,” the USTA said in a statement released. Nadal is a three-time US Open champion. Nadal is playing at the US Open for the first time since winning it all at the tournament in 2019.
Nadal opens his US Open campaign against Rinky Hiijkata. It remains to be seen if Nadal can win a record 23rd Grand Slam title.