Rafael Nadal on Novak Djokovic’s US Open absence: “I feel sorry for him that he’s not able to travel”

The fourth and final major of the tennis calendar gets under way at Flushing Meadows in New York next week but Novak Djokovic will not get the chance to win a fourth US Open and 22nd grand slam title. Here’s Rafael Nadal said about Nole’s US Open absence.

Q When you look at the draw and you don’t see Novak in it, for obvious reasons, what are your thoughts and reactions to him not being here, not being able to compete?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, in some way we know that Novak will not play for a while if nothing change in terms of the rules, no? We know that since months ago.

From my personal perspective, is very sad news. It’s always a shame when the best players of the world are not able to play a tournament because of injuries or because of different reasons.

In this case, not having one of the best players of the history in the draw of Grand Slam is always an important miss, no?

As I said, tough for the fans, tough for the tournament. In my opinion, tough for the players, too, because we want to have the best field possible.

But in the other hand, I repeat what I said plenty of times: the sport in some ways is bigger than any player. I missed a lot of important events in my tennis career because of injuries, without a doubt. Last year I was not here. Two years ago I was not here. The tournament continues. The world of tennis keep going.

Even if is not a good news for everyone, the world continues and the tennis will continue after me, after Novak, after Roger. Every year will be for the slams champion. That’s it.

Without a doubt, Novak is one of the most important players of the last 20 years, the history of our sport. In a personal way I feel sorry for him that he’s not able to travel here.


  1. Respectful and realistic comments from Rafa. The sport is bigger than any player; ND is entitled to his beliefs, but when they affect others, that is another arena.

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