Defending champion Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the US Open citing concerns over coronavirus.
The four-time winner at Flushing Meadows does not want to travel to the United States for the event, which begins on August 31, while COVID-19 cases are on the rise.
A spike in coronavirus in Nadal’s Spain homeland has already led to the cancellation of the Madrid Open.
“After many thoughts I have decided not to play this year’s US Open,” he wrote on Instagram.
“The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don’t have control of it.
“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.”
Nadal said the revamped schedule was “barbaric” in terms of compressing events into a short space of time but he appreciated tournament organisers across the world were doing their best.
“We know that the reduced tennis calendar is barbaric this year after four months stopped with no play, I understand and thank for the efforts they are putting in to make it happen,” he added.
“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.”