Rafael Nadal is looking to win his second straight title at the 2014 U.S. Open, when the tournament begins on Aug. 25 at Flushing Meadows in New York. However, the 28-year-old might not even get the chance to defend his championship.
A right wrist injury could preclude from Nadal from competing at this year’s event. He suffered the ailment while practicing on his home island of Mallorca, and it’s forced him to skip tune-ups in Toronto and Cincinnati. With just 11 days remaining before the final Grand Slam tournament of 2014, the left-hander is still unsure about his status for the U.S. Open.
"My dream is being there and I will work for it. If it has healed I'll have to try and see how I feel when I train and Friday or at latest Saturday a decision will be made. Time is short and we'll have to wait and see if it is enough or not," Nadal told reporters on Monday.
The initial prognosis had Nadal in line to return for the U.S. Open, as he was ordered to wear a cast for two to three weeks. At the beginning of the month, he said he expected to be ready for his title defense, but that may no longer be the case. There has been no official word if Nadal will compete, but on Aug. 6, Nadal posted a video of a training session on Twitter, and he appeared to be in strong form.
Nadal hasn’t competed since Wimbledon in early July. At the tournament, he had a disappointing finish, when he was knocked out in the Round of 16 by Nick Kyrgios. He’s currently ranked No.2 in the world behind Novak Djokovic, who won his second Wimbledon championship in July.
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Two years ago, Nadal suffered a serious knee injury, which forced him to miss an extended period of time. He was unable to participate in the 2012 U.S. Open, and didn't play competitive tennis for seven months. He came back in 2013 stronger than ever, winning both the 2013 French Open and 2013 U.S. Open.
In 2014, Nadal has claimed four titles, winning 44 of his 52 matches. His most recent tournament victory came at Roland Garros.