The final Grand Slam tournament of the year will not feature Rafael Nadal, as the tennis player will miss the 2014 U.S. Open. A wrist injury will keep the 28-year-old off the court in Flushing, as he recently made an announcement about his status on Facebook.
“I am very sorry to announce I won’t be able to play at this year’s U.S. Open, a tournament on which I’ve played three 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… Not much more I can do right now, other than accept the situation and… work hard in order to be able to compete at the highest level once I am back.”
It’s not the first tournament that Nadal has missed recently. He skipped events in Toronto and Cincinnati, hoping to be ready for the U.S. Open, which is set to begin on Aug. 25.
Nadal has not given a timetable for his return. He suffered the injury to his right wrist in late July and was put in a cast. He hasn't played since being upset at Wimbledon in July, though he was hopeful that he'd be ready for next week's tournament. Nadal had released a video of a training session earlier this month on Twitter, and he appeared to be in strong form. However, the left-hander may not feel he is fully conditioned for a major, which can go five sets.
Injuries have affected Nadal and his quest to match Roger Federer’s record of 17 major championships. He currently sits at 14 titles, and will miss his third Grand Slam tournament in the last two years. Two years ago, he was forced to sit out for seven months because of knee injury.
Nadal is currently ranked No.2 in the world, behind Novak Djokovic. The two last faced off in the finals of the 2014 French Open, where Nadal won in four sets.
The injury to Nadal guarantees that the U.S. Open will crown a new champion, since he won the title last year. In 2010, the defending U.S. Open champion did not compete, as well, when Juan Martin del Potro missed the tournament with an injury.
Nadal has proven that he has the ability to come back even better than ever from injuries. After missing significant time in 2012, he was dominant in 2013, winning both the French Open and U.S. Open, and going 10 of 14 in finals.