Rafael Nadal is officially OUT of the U.S. Open ... the tennis legend said Tuesday it's just too damn unsafe for him to travel to America during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The situation is very complicated worldwide," Nadal wrote in a statement. "The COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don’t have control of it."
The world's No. 1-ranked player added, "This is a decision I never wanted to take but I have decided to follow my heart this time and for the time being I rather not travel."
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The annual tournament is set to begin in just a few weeks on Aug. 31 ... but the field will now be watered down considerably with Nadal and Roger Federer (knee issues) out of the event.
"All my respects to the USTA, the US Open organisers and the ATP for trying to put the event together for the players and the fans around the world through TV," Nadal said.
Nadal joins the women's No. 1-ranked player in making the decision ... as we previously reported, Ash Barty opted out of the event just a few days ago saying she, too, had coronavirus concerns.
"There are still significant risks involved due to COVID-19 and I don't feel comfortable putting my team and I in that position," Barty said.
The tournament, which will take place in Queens, NY later this month, is still scheduled to feature some of the game's top competitors ... including Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic.
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