Tennis has been dealt another major blow with Rafael Nadal announcing that he will miss the remainder of the year due to a nagging foot issue.
After being beaten by Novak Djokovic in this year's Roland-Garros semi-final, Nadal withdrew from both Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, and will now be missing from the US Open for a second straight year.
Nadal's participation for the US Open was already in doubt after he withdrew from an event in Cincinnati last week, and he confirmed that he would not be at Flushing Meadows in a statement on Friday.
"Hello everyone, I wanted to inform you that unfortunately I have to end the 2021 season," he wrote on Twitter.
"Honestly, I've been suffering a lot more than I should with my foot for a year and I need to take some time.
"After having discussed it with the team and family, this decision has been made and I think it is the way forward to try to recover and recover well."
Nadal admitted that he had not been able to train and prepare in an optimal fashion while dealing with his foot issue, revealing that it is something that he has carried for 16 years. He aims to try a different type of treatment to treat the issue.
Despite the injury setback, the 20-time Grand Slam champion hopes to continue competing at the top level for "a while longer" after he addresses his foot issue.
"I am with the maximum enthusiasm and predisposition to do whatever it takes to recover the best possible form to keep competing for the things that really motivate me," he wrote.
"I am convinced that with the recovery of the foot and obviously a very important daily effort because this can be achieved. I will work as hard as I can to make it happen.
"Thank you in advance for all the support, understanding and all your expressions of affection that are very important and more in difficult times like these.
"I promise you what I am going to do is work hard to try to continue enjoying this sport for a while longer. A big hug to all."