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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."

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

White House urges Iowa to tighten restrictions as COVID-19 surges

Reynolds meets with Trump in May. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Iowa is experiencing an "unyielding COVID spread," illustrated by swelling hospital admissions and ICU data, according to a Nov. 8 White House Coronavirus Task Force report obtained by the local ABC News affiliate.

Driving the news: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who has repeatedly said that strict rules were unnecessary and ineffective, on Tuesday issued limits on large gatherings and implemented a partial mask mandate for social settings and some businesses.

Nov 11, 2020 - Health

EU purchases 200 million doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The European Union struck a deal with Pfizer and BioNTech to buy at least 200 million doses of their coronavirus vaccine in the largest initial order to date, the companies announced Wednesday.

Driving the news: Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced Monday that its coronavirus vaccine trial was effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in 90% of previously uninfected people and did not produce any serious safety concerns.