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.