Tennis: US Open
USATSI

Rafael Nadal, the No. 2 ranked men's tennis player in the world, will not be participating in the 2020 US open. The tournament's defending champion announced his decision on Tuesday, citing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. He took to Twitter to explain his reasoning behind the decision via Twitter.

"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. The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don't have control of it," he wrote. "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."

This was not an easy decision for Nadal, who is in a current race with Roger Federer for the men's Grand Slam record. The Spaniard has 19 Grand Slam titles, while Federer has 20.

Nadal said not playing in the US Open was "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."

The US Open is scheduled to run from August 31 to September 13 in New York.

Nadal is not the first major name to drop out of the tournament over concerns regarding the coronavirus. The current No. 1 women's tennis player in the world Ashleigh Barty is also not participating in the US Open. Nick Kyrgios also pulled out of the tournament and called for other athletes to think of others and make a smart decision regarding play.

Federer will not take part in the U.S. Open due to two operations on his right knee.