Rafael Nadal out of U.S. Open

Rafael Nadal’s pains continue to mount.

Nadal announced Wednesday he will not compete at the U.S. Open due to continued knee tendinitis. The Spaniard has not played since his shocking loss to Lukas Rosol in the second round at Wimbledon in June.

“I am very sad to announce that I am not ready to play the US Open in NY. Thanks to my fans for their support and specially, the new yorkers,” Nadal tweeted.

After his record seventh French Open title two months ago, Nadal has struggled to find himself back on the tennis court. In fact, the tendinitis had already flared up at Roland Garros, where Nadal just managed to pull through with regards to his knees to come away with the championship.

There’s no question the strain is taking its toll on the world’s third-ranked tennis player. He was forced to withdraw from the Olympics, in which he was seeking to defend his gold medal from the 2008 Games in Beijing. When he subsequently pulled out of Cincinnati, his chances of competing at Flushing Meadows looked bleak.

Now it’s official. The 11-time Grand Slam champion at one point appeared to be a distant, but possible, threat to catch and surpass Roger Federer’s historic tally of 17 major titles. But as the injuries pile on and his knees continue to give out, the prospect of winning even another major comes into question.

His physical style of play has taken a punishing toll on his body, particularly on the hard courts in Melbourne and Flushing Meadows as it pertains to Grand Slams. It wasn’t that long ago – in fact, it was just two years ago – that he was the best in the world. Nadal captured three of the four Grand Slams that year that included his first U.S. Open crown, which for long had been his least successful venue of the majors. With no current timetable for his return, Nadal’s health looms large in regards to whether or not he will even return to the dominance he once exhibited.

Nadal’s Spanish comrade Pau Gasol also took to Twitter, stating, “I wanted to send my support to my good friend @RafaelNadal for the difficult moment he’s going through due to injuries. Recover soon!!”

While Nadal’s withdrawal once again opens up the door for Novak Djokovic to repeat at Flushing Meadows and for Federer to maintain the number one ranking as well as for Andy Murray to win his first major, the Spaniard’s presence will clearly be missed. Nadal has to recover soon – not just for himself, but for the whole tennis world as a whole.