Rafael Nadal Reacts To Novak Djokovic's Absence From U.S. Open

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Novak Djokovic, the second all-time Grand Slam winner (21) will not be on the field of the tournament at this year's US Open.

1 Rafael Nadal on the all-time Grand Slam list (22) shares his thoughts on his opponent's absence in the major event.

"It's very sad news. Not having one of the best players in history in a Grand Slam draw is a significant omission," said Nadal, per James Grey.

"We want to have the best field possible. But the game is, in some ways, bigger than any player."

Djokovic withdrew from the 2022 US Open on Thursday due to travel restrictions in the United States.

The former world number 1 is famously unaffected against the COVID-19 virus.

The tennis superstar has already missed several events this year due to vaccine requirements.

Despite the absence of one of the sport's brightest stars, "the world of tennis keeps on going."

The first round of the 2022 US Open will begin on Monday.

Nadal will play his first match against Australian Rinki Hijikata on Tuesday evening.

Nadal could extend his Grand Slam lead with a title win over Djokovic at this year's event.