Rafael Nadal has confirmed that he will make a decision on whether to play in this year’s US Open by Saturday at the latest.
The world number two is currently recovering from a wrist injury that he suffered in training at the end of July, which forced him to miss the beginning of the hard court season.
The Spaniard was forced to miss the Toronto Masters last week, though it was reported that his recovery from the injury was on course for him to be fit for the final Grand Slam of the year at Flushing Meadows.
While Nadal has already been ruled out of the Cincinnati Masters this week, the 28-year-old is unsure whether he will make it back in time for the tournament in New York - which begins on Monday August 25 - though he is determined to prove his fitness.
The 14-time Grand Slam winner was speaking at the inauguration of a new tennis and paddle club in his native town of Manacor, Majorca, and he is quoted by Fox Sports as saying: “My dream is being there and I will work for it.
“If it has healed I’ll have to try and see how I feel when I train and on Friday or at latest Saturday a decision will be made.”
Should he be fit for the tournament, then the former world number one will be aiming to win the title for the third time and he would go into the event as defending champion after beating Serbia’s Novak Djokovic 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the 2013 final.
Nadal is yet to play since losing to Australian qualifier Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon in June, as the SW19 debutant knocked out the two-time champion in four sets in the fourth round.
Consequently, Nadal lost his spot at the top of the world rankings, as Djokovic went on to win his second Wimbledon title that week, beating world number three Roger Federer in the final.
He will be unable to win back the number one position after the US Open regardless of whether he participates, as he will not be able to improve his points score and he is set to lose 1000 points this week as he won the Cincinnati Masters in 2013.
If Nadal is unable to be fit in time, then it could improve Federer’s chances of making it to his seventh US Open final, as the five-time champion would be likely to be seeded second, thus avoiding Djokovic in a potential semi-final.
It could also come as a boost to Djokovic, who has faced Nadal in seven Grand Slam finals, with their most recent being at the French Open in June, which Nadal won in four sets to win the title at Roland Garros for a record ninth time.