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US Open champ Rafa Nadal withdraws with wrist injury

Defending US Open men’s champion Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Flushing Meadows event with a wrist injury sustained in July.

Nadal, 28, made the announcement on social media ahead of the hard court Grand Slam, which is held annually in New York. He had hoped to be fit for the event, which begins on August 25th, but has chosen to pull out.

“I am very sorry to announce I won’t be able to play at this year’s US Open a tournament on which I’ve played finals consecutive finals in my last participations,” said Nadal in a statement.

“I am sure you understand that it is a very tough moment for me since it is a tournament I love and where I have great memories from fans, the night matches, so many things… Not much more I can do right now, other than accept the situation and, as always in my case, work hard in order to be able to compete at the highest level once I am back.”

Coral make reigning French Open and Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic the 6/5 favourite to add the US Open to his honours this season, having last won at Flushing Meadows in 2011. Swiss racket master Roger Federer, meanwhile, is 3/1 to record Grand Slam glory for the 18th time.

Great Britain’s Andy Murray, who won in New York in 2012, comes next at 9/2. Federer’s compatriot Stan Wawrinka is a 12/1 shot, ahead of Wimbledon semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov (14/1) and France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (20/1) and Canadian star Milos Raonic (20/1).

It remains to be seen whether Nadal will be fit for the ATP Tour Finals, held at London’s O2 Arena in November. He lost in last year’s final to Djokovic in straight sets (6-3 6-4), and was also runner-up to Federer in 2010.