Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2012 US OPEN: Nadal(3) Withdraws!

Rafael Nadal, the world's #3 player, who played in the 2011 US Open final and won the 2010 US Open final, will not play the 2012 US Open, due to an ongoing issue with tendinitis in his knees, it was announced today. The 11-time major champion has not played a tour match since he was stunned in the 2nd round of Wimbledon by Lukas Rosol, having missed the London Olympics, the Rogers Cup in Toronto and the Cincinnati Masters. In fact, today's statement, which was announced via Twitter, does not say when he will return.

This raises the importance of this year's US Open draw, because World #1 Roger Federer and World #2 Novak Djokovic are almost certainly not going to be in the same half of the draw, so the question is in whose half will Olympic gold medalist (and potential #3 seed) Andy Murray fall? Murray routed Federer in the best-of-five-sets Gold medal match on grass, and the Scotsman best surface is hard court, so he would have a decent chance of breaking through against the 17-time major champion in a high-stakes semifinal. Murray lost his best Grand Slam match of his career against Djokovic in the 2012 Australian Open semifinals.

It's unfortunate that Nadal will not be able to play this year's Open, because it will almost certainly lead him to fall out of the Top 3 rankings. But I'm sure there will be several other interesting stories to cover, especially whether Federer can go for his mind-boggling 18th major, or will someone else win their first?

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