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Bianca Andreescu will defend U.S. Open title, Rafael Nadal out due to pandemic

Bianca Andreescu, the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles championship, will defend her women’s title at the U.S. Open, but defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal said Tuesday he will skip it due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nadal explained his decision in a series of tweets sent in Spanish and English on Tuesday.

“The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don’t have control of it,” Nadal wrote.

Andreescu, 20, is ranked No. 6 in the world rankings but hasn’t played since October because of injury. She defeated Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final last September to become the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles championship.

Nadal, 34, of Spain called sitting out the tournament scheduled to begin Aug. 31 in New York “a decision I never wanted to take,” but added that he would “rather not travel.”

It puts on hold Nadal’s bid to equal Roger Federer’s men’s record for Grand Slam titles.

The current No. 1-ranked woman, Ash Barty of Australia, had already announced she would miss the U.S. Open.

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