The Spaniard Rafael Nadal regretted on Friday the absence from the United States Open of the Serbian Novak Djokovic, forced to give up participating in the New York Grand Slam because of his refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
He considers this to be “very sad news”.
“From my point of view, this is very sad news,” said Nadal, 3rd in the world, in press conference, three days before the start of the tournament.
“It's always a shame when the best players in the world can't play in a tournament due to injury or other reasons. In this case, not having one of the best players in history in the table of a Grand Slam, it still represents a significant lack. It's tough for the fans, tough for the tournament. In my opinion, hard for the players too, because we want to have the best possible conditions of competition”, maintained the Spaniard.
“In a way, the sport is bigger than n 'any player,' added the Spaniard.
“Even if it's not good news for everyone, the world continues and tennis will continue after me, after Novak, after Roger (Federer)”, underlined the four-time winner of the United States Open, who n haven't played in New York since his coronation in 2019.
A serious injury
On Thursday, Djokovic announced, shortly before the draw for the event in which he was the finalist last year, that he could not participate in the tournament this year because he cannot travel to the United States because he has not been vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Unfortunately, I won't be able to travel to New York this year. Good luck to my fellow players!”, Wrote on his Twitter account the Serbian, 6th in the world, who hoped until the last moment for a change in health measures imposing vaccination against Covid-19 for entry into American territory. .
Nadal, the record holder for Grand Slam titles (22) missed the US Open last year due to recurring pain in his left foot. This year, after his victories at the Australian Open and then at Roland-Garros, he was forced to forfeit the semi-finals at Wimbledon due to an abdominal tear. An injury to which he knows he will have to remain attentive.
“It's a serious injury, because it remains at risk. It is a part of the body that is very stressed when you serve. I was careful in Cincinnati, I take care of myself in training, and during games I try not to force my serves too much. I do things the best I can.”
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