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With Rafael Nadal out, Roger Federer secures the U.S. Open No. 2 seed

Defending champion Rafael Nadal withdraws from the U.S. Open, and Roger Federer secures the No. 2 seed.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the 2014 U.S. Open due to a right wrist injury sustained in practice after Wimbledon. After postponing his decision last week, Nadal announced his withdrawal on his Facebook page on Monday.

With Nadal out, No. 3 Roger Federer has secured the No. 2 seed at the U.S. Open, which means he cannot face No. 1 Novak Djokovic until the final. It also means that Federer, who won his first ATP Masters 1000 title in two years on Sunday at the Western & Southern Open, will move to No. 2 in the rankings if he wins the tournament.

Federer, who turned 33 two weeks ago, has made the finals in four consecutive tournaments, and has compiled a 9-1 record during the summer hard-court season. He has not won a Grand Slam since Wimbledon in 2012, but he reached the Wimbledon final last month before narrowly losing to Djokovic in five sets. 

After falling in the quarterfinals to Federer in Cincinnati, No. 9 Andy Murray narrowly missed out on a top eight seeding, which meant a possible Round of 16 meeting with either Djokovic or Federer. Nadal's withdrawal now bumps him up to No. 8, which should make for an easier draw. David Ferrer also benefits from the news, as he'll get a top-four seeding. 

With No. 13 Juan Martin del Potro also out of the tournament, No. 17 Fabio Fognini and No. 18 Tommy Robredo, who beat Djokovic in straight sets in Cincinnati, have both earned Top 16 seeds.