Rafael Nadal Out of US Open and Will Miss Rest of 2021 Due to Foot Injury

A nagging problem with his left foot will prevent the four-time U.S. Open champion from competing in Queens

Rafael Nadal at the Citi Open
Rafael Nadal at the Citi Open at Rock Creek Tennis Center in Washington, DC.
Mitchell Layton/Getty

Thanks to a nagging problem with his left foot, four-time U.S. Open champion Rafael Nadal will not take the court to attempt to win the event for the fifth time at the end of the month in Queens and his 2021 tennis season is over.

The second high-profile star to drop out of the event in recent days after Roger Federer announced earlier this week he’d be missing the Open due to his third knee surgery since 2020, Nadal said the issue with his left foot has been troubling him for a year.

“I have been suffering too much with my foot for the last year now,” Nadal said in a video posted on social media. “I needed to talk with my family, with my team and with my doctors especially to understand what is going on. But the foot is not the proper way today and during the last year I was not able to practice and prepare myself the way I need to to be competitive at the standard I want to be. So we had to take that decision, but I am confident that I will recover myself 100 percent and I will be able to fight again for the most important things.”

“The injury is nothing new,” Nadal said on Friday. “It’s the same injury I am having since 2005. In that moment, the doctors were very negative about my future career, but honestly I was able to have a career that I never dreamed about, so I am confident I will recover again and if the foot is better I am content my tennis and mentality will be there again soon. You can be sure I am going to fight every single day to make that happen.”

After defeating Daniil Medvedev in five sets to win the singles title in New York in 2019, Nadal chose not to defend his title last year when the Open was played with significant health restrictions in place and without fans in the stands due to the coronavirus pandemic.

When the Open runs from August 30 to September 12, 20-time Grand Slam singles titles winners Nadal and Federer won’t be part of it. Novak Djokovic, who also has 20 Grand Slam singles wins, will have a chance to win his 21st and take sole possession of the men’s record he currently shares with Nadal and Federer. Djokovic has won the first three legs of the Grand Slam this year (the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon) and has a shot at completing the cycle in men’s singles for the first time since Rod Laver managed it in 1969, per The New York Times.

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