Defending champion Nadal won't play US Open

Johannes EISELE / AFP

Rafael Nadal has announced his decision to skip this year's US Open citing concerns over the coronavirus.

In a series of Tweets, the US Open defending champion said his decision was based on how "the situation is very complicated worldwide" and that he'd "rather not travel".

"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.

"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," he wrote.

Nadal's decision comes just days after World Number One Ashleigh Barty announced she would not compete in the tournament because of the pandemic.

The US Open is set to start on August 31 without fans.

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