Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates defeating Germany's Daniel Brands in their first round match of the French Open tennis tournament, at Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Monday, May 27, 2013. Nadal won in four sets 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, 6-3. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
By HOWARD FENDRICH
AP Tennis Writer
Rafael Nadal will not defend his title at the U.S. Open because of an injured right wrist.
Nadal and the tournament announced his withdrawal Monday, a week before the year's last Grand Slam tournament begins.
The 27-year-old Spaniard was hurt July 29 while practicing on his home island of Mallorca ahead of the North American hard-court circuit. The next day, Nadal said he had been told by doctors to wear a cast on his wrist for two to three weeks, but he hoped to be able to return in time for the U.S. Open.
The second-ranked Nadal plays left-handed, but he uses a two-handed backhand.
It's only the fourth time in the Open era, which began in 1968, that the reigning U.S. Open men's champion is not in the field.