Bill Carey
Wednesday August 15th, 2012

Rafael Nadal is withdrawing from the U.S. Open because of knee problems, according to a tweet by tennis commentator Patrick McEnroe. Nadal later confirmed the news in a tweet.

[tweet https://twitter.com/PatrickMcEnroe/status/235757506507440129]

[tweet https://twitter.com/RafaelNadal/status/235760987465191424]

The 26-year-old Nadal has battled knee issues recently. He also withdrew from the Olympics, where he had been scheduled to carry Spain's flag in the opening ceremony. He won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Games and would have been defending that title.

Nadal won the 2010 U.S. Open to complete his career Grand Slam. He was the runner-up to Novak Djokovic last season.

Without Nadal, there are three clear favorites for the title. Roger Federer, who again became the No. 1 player in the world again after his win at Wimbledon, could add to his resume as the best player of all-time. Djokovic could defend his title. Or Andy Murray, who just won the gold medal at the Olympics, could break through and win his first major. The U.S. Open begins Aug. 27.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.