The entry lists for the 2020 US Open are out. Among those missing is the World #2 Rafael Nadal, who will miss the American Slam for the first time in six years.
With the coronavirus pandemic massively switching up the scheduling this year, Nadal and his team decided to focus on his favorite Roland Garros instead. The French Open will start just two weeks after the US Open this year, giving those who go deep in New York not much time to prepare. As the situation with overseas flying is still uncertain, Nadal chose to stay in Europe to stay safe and make sure his gearing up for the tournament he’s won 12 times goes as planned.
Two other ATP top 10 players haven’t signed up for the 2020 US Open–Roger Federer and Gael Monfils. The Swiss will not play again until 2021, still healing up after two knee surgeries. It’s been over 20 years since a Grand Slam main draw didn’t feature either Federer or Nadal. The last time neither of the two legends participated in an event of this category was the 1999 US Open.
Only one top 10 WTA player is missing from the entry list, and it’s the World #1 Ashleigh Barty. The Australian announced her decision a couple of days ago, citing the risk of flying to the United States was too high for her and her team to take.
Rafael Nadal could still theoretically ask for a wild card for the 2020 US Open should he change his decision. However, it is extremely unlikely given the statement that he’s released on his social media.
After many thoughts I have decided not to play this year’s US Open. The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don’t have control of it.
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) August 4, 2020
The Spaniard expressed deep regret for being forced to take that decision but chose to “follow his heart” and not leave Europe for now. Nadal’s fans can expect him on court no sooner than on the 14th of September when the Italian Open is due to start.
Main Photo from Getty.