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Rafael Nadal withdraws from U.S. Open

The defending U.S. Open champ won't be able to defend his title due to a wrist injury.

Defending U.S. Open champion Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the 2014 competition due to a wrist injury that had his status up in the air heading into the opening round of matches on Aug. 25. Nadal had already postponed his decision last week after suffering an injury following his fourth-round exit from Wimbledon.

Nadal announced his decision over Facebook. He apologized to fans while calling his choice a "very tough moment" (translated):

I am very sorry to announce I won't be able to participate at this year's US Open, a tournament which over the years I have had very good results. 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... I have no choice but to 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.

Nadal had recently shed a wrist splint after flying to Barcelona to get his injury examined. He practiced without a splint on Friday, but apparently was ready to compete in the U.S. Open.

Last year, Nadal defeated the current No. 1-ranked player, Novak Djokovic, to win the U.S. Open. He also won in 2010. This season, Nadal won the French open but has struggled since, losing his No. 1 ranking in the process.