In Brief

US Open: Novak Djokovic is in, but Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are out

World No.1 confirms he will play in the New York grand slam event

Men’s world No.1 Novak Djokovic has confirmed he will play in the 2020 US Open grand slam in New York. 

The Serbian, 33, will take his place in the main draw but his two great rivals - Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal - will not feature at Flushing Meadows. 

Defending champion Nadal has opted against travelling to the United States due to coronavirus fears while 20-time grand slam winner Federer is recovering from knee surgery. 

After taking time to make his decision, Djokovic will compete in the Western & Southern Open from 22-28 August and the US Open which starts on 31 August. Both events will be held behind closed doors at Flushing Meadows. 

The three-time US Open winner said: “I am happy to confirm that I will participate at the Western & Southern Open and US Open this year. It was not an easy decision to make with all the obstacles and challenges on many sides, but the prospect of competing again makes me really excited. 

“During my career, I have played some of my best matches at the USTA Billie Jean King National tennis center. I am aware that this time around it will be very different with all the protocols and safety measures that are put in place to protect players and people of NY.

“Nevertheless, I have trained hard with my team and got my body in shape so I am ready to adapt to new conditions. 

“Unfortunately for the players and the game itself, the current situation is not allowing everyone to travel and compete at the same level of risk, and I hope the situation will change soon and we will all be back to doing what we love and do best.”

Rafael Nadal holds the trophy after his win over Daniil Medvedev in the 2019 US Open final

Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

‘Very complicated’

World No.2 Nadal needs one more grand slam title to equal Federer’s record of 20, but the Spaniard says the current “circumstances” forced him to take the decision of opting against travelling to the United States. 

He wrote on Instagram: “After many thoughts I have decided not to play this year’s US Open. The situation is very complicated worldwide, the Covid-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don’t have control of it. 

“We know that the reduced tennis calendar is barbaric this year after 4 months stopped with no play, I understand and thank for the efforts they are putting in to make it happen. We have just seen the announcement of Madrid not being played this year. 

“All my respects to the USTA, the US Open organisers and the ATP for trying to put the event together for the players and the fans around the world through TV. 

“This is a decision I never wanted to take but I have decided to follow my heart this time and for the time being I rather not travel.”

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