Rafal Nadal, it appears, trained in stealth mode, on the clay courts for the US Open. All sightings were of him either practicing on the clay court or sweeping them! Nearly all, including Rennae Stubbs, believed Rafa was due to give the US Open a skip this year. “It is a little bit of worry when you see that Rafa is practicing on clay. So that is not a good sign,” she commented. Is Nadal playing the US Open this year?
It appears Nadal is playing the US Open, after all.
All the speculation, and some more, was put to rest with Nadal entering his name for the next month’s Western & Southern Open in New York. The tournament will serve as the only tune-up event for the US Open this year.
If Rafa intended to play the US Open, then why on earth practice on the clay courts for the premier hard court event of the year? Are Nadal’s knees okay or is it merely precautionary on his part? Is Nadal playing the US Open at all, or should we expect a last minute withdrawal from the Western & Southern Open in New York next moth? Rafa, after all, is known for last minute withdrawals from the hard court tournaments.
Novak Djokovic is hungry as ever to increase his slam count and gain respect of the tennis fraternity
Novak Djokovic’s only reservation was travelling with just one team member to the US. The entourage can now be increased to up to three and Djokovic, therefore, will be present and available for the Western & Southern Open and US Open in New York. Novak, in fact, requested for US Open balls to me sent to him. Why miss a chance to add to the slam count and gain respect of the tennis fraternity.
The women’s and men’s draw at the Western & Southern Open will be strong
COVID 19 cannot stop the pros from what they do best. The top 40 of 43 will play the men’s draw at the Western & Southern Open. Djokovic, Nadal, Medvedev, Thiem, and most other marquee names have entered for the tune up event. And, probably all will journey onto the US Open thereafter. Roger Federer, however, will be nursing post operative knees and watching the action on television.
Karolina Pliskova, the world number 3, is the highest ranking player in the tune up event on the women’s side. The world No.1 Ashleigh Barty and world No.2 Simona Halep are missing the event. We hope they change their minds for the US Open.