Rafael Nadal will not defend his title at the US Open after announcing his withdrawal from the tournament due to concerns over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"After many thoughts I have decided not to play this year’s US Open," the Spanish tennis star told his followers on Twitter on Tuesday.
"The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don’t have control of it."
He added: "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 (would) rather not travel."
The World No. 2 won his fourth US Open title last year when he beat Daniil Medvedev in the final.
The 34-year-old's announcement comes on the same day the Madrid Open was canceled as Spain deals with a spike in COVID-19 cases.
With Roger Federer sidelined for the rest of the year with a back injury, the US Open will represent the first Grand Slam to be played without one of the two tennis icons in 21 years.
In June, the US Open was given the green light to be played without spectators due to the coronavirus pandemic. It's scheduled to run from Aug. 31 to Sept. 13.
Meanwhile, Nick Kyrgios said over the weekend he won't feature at the US Open either. While the Australian supports players who want to participate in the competition, Kyrgios urged his peers to stop being "selfish" in an apparent shot at Novak Djokovic and others who were involved in the Adria Tour exhibition tournament.