This Tuesday it was confirmed that Rafael Nadal will not play the US Open- At his low, is added that of Roger Federer, who is recovering from an injury.
Ergo: the third Major of the year and the first in the return of tennis officially, will not have two of the best rackets in history: something that has not happened since the US Open 1999, in which neither of them said present .
But let’s give context: Rafael Nadal was not even professional, he was from 2001. In fact, his first presentation in a Grand Slam dates from 2003 at Wimbledon. Rafa’s absences are counted on the fingers of the hand. On grass he did not play in 2009 and 2016. At the Australian Open, where he debuted in 2004, he played all except for 2006 and 2013. While Roland Garros has had a perfect presence since 2005. Finally, his journey at the US Open it started in 2003 and only dropped in 2012 and 2013.
In the case of Roger, with a few more years in the cat flap after having declared as a professional in 1998 according to the ATP, there are some more presences. He did not debut at the Australian Open until two years after the start of his career, in 2000. There was no absence there. He had a perfect presence at Roland Garros from 1999 to 2015: he would be absent in the 2016, 2017 and 2018 editions. As for Wimbledon, there are no marked absences since 1999, his first participation. To close, at the US Open he started playing from the year 2000 and the 2016 edition was lost.
So, going back to the aforementioned 1999 US Open, who played and who won? Andre Agassi took the trophy after defeating Todd Martin in the final 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (2), 6-3 and 6-2. Players of the caliber of Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Patrick Rafter, Gustavo Kuerten, Tim Henman, Carlos Moya, Greg Rusedski and Marcelo Rios competed there.