World number two Rafael Nadal has announced he will not be defending his US Open title at Flushing Meadows, New York, next week.
The 28-year-old, who defeated top seed Novak Djokovic to claim the 2013 edition of the fourth Grand Slam of the year, hurt his right wrist in training last month.
The 14-time Grand Slam winner said: “I am very sorry to announce I won’t be able to play at this year’s US Open a tournament on which I’ve played 3 consecutive finals in my last participations. I am sure you understand that it is a very tough moment for me since it is a tournament I love and where I have great memories from fans, the night matches, so many things…”
Nadal had already missed two major hard-court season warm-ups ahead of the US Open- the Cincinnati and Toronto championships- where he’s also a reigning champion.
He has already lost 2,000 of his 4,000 ATP World Ranking points he earned last year.
Nadal, who came back from an injury hiatus to win the French Open last year, has continue to showcase his trademark fighting spirit. During an intense training session with former world’s no.1 and friend Carlos Moya in his hometown in Manacor last Friday, Nadal was pictured hitting the ball without the protective splint, albeit using the double back-hand shot often.
“Not much more I can do right now, other than accept the situation and, as always in my case, work hard in order to be able to compete at the highest level once I am back,” he added.
With Roger Federer reaching the finals of the Rogers Cup and winning a championship at the Cincinnati Masters, the Swiss Maestro is suddenly in position to steal the no.2 spot from the Mallorcan with another impressive feat in New York.
The 2014 US Open begins on August 25 at Flushing Meadows.
Nadal saw off Djokovic 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in three hours and 21 minutes in a breathtaking contest at the Arthur Ashe Stadium last year.