Rafael Nadal at the ATP Mexican Open at Princess Mundo Imperial in February. Photo: Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Defending champion Rafael Nadal tweeted Tuesday that he will not attend the 2020 U.S. Open due to rising coronavirus infections, noting that "it looks like we still don’t have control of it."

The big picture: The tournament was rescheduled over the summer to be held in August and September without spectators. Nadal's absence puts his bid to equal Roger Federer’s record for men's Grand Slam titles on pause.

What he's saying:

"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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Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
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