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22 Aug, 2022 14:54

World number two pulls out of US Open

Alexander Zverev had been hoping to recover from an ankle injury in time to make the New York Grand Slam
World number two pulls out of US Open

World number two Alexander Zverev has officially withdrawn from the US Open after failing to recover from the ankle ligament injury he suffered at the French Open earlier this year, organizers have confirmed.

Zverev had been hoping to return in time for the Grand Slam in New York, which gets underway on August 29, but he has not been able to get back up to speed in time after undergoing surgery on the injury which forced him out of his Roland-Garros semifinal against Rafael Nadal in June.

The German, 25, has not played since the injury, which happened during the second set against Nadal in Paris when Zverev turned his ankle while chasing a ball beyond the baseline.

He was forced to leave the clay court showpiece in a wheelchair and underwent an operation for torn lateral ligaments soon afterwards.  

Zverev made a maiden Grand Slam final appearance at the 2020 US Open, where he was beaten by Austria’s Dominic Thiem in five sets despite taking a two-set lead.

Russian ATP world number one Daniil Medvedev will be the defending champion in New York this time around, having beaten Novak Djokovic in last year’s final.

Djokovic will be absent this year because US border rules ban non-citizens from entry if they are not vaccinated against Covid-19 – which is the case with the Serbian 21-time Grand Slam winner.

Nadal, a 22-time Grand Slam winner, will be among the line-up at Flushing Meadows as he seeks to win the US Open title for a fifth time.

After Zverev’s withdrawal, America’s Stefan Kozlov moves into the main draw for the event.

There was a shock at the last major men’s tournament leading up to the US Open as Croatia’s Borna Coric clinched the Cincinnati Masters 1000 title on Sunday, defeating fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in two sets in the final.

Tsitsipas had previously beaten Medvedev at the semifinal stage, but had no answer to Coric’s impressive form as the world number 152 became the lowest-ranked player to win a Masters 1000 title.

Coric, 25, had seen off Nadal in the second round in Cincinnati on his way to the title.