Justine Henin: Would've been hard for Rafael Nadal to push Novak Djokovic at US Open

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Justine Henin: Would've been hard for Rafael Nadal to push Novak Djokovic at US Open

Eurosport tennis expert Justine Henin wasn't surprised by Rafael Nadal's decision to skip the US Open. Nadal, who missed the entire grass season due to a foot injury, returned to action in Washington but then pulled out of the Toronto Masters and Cincinnati Masters.

Nadal was struggling with his foot injury in Washington and he ended up suffering a round-of-16 loss. After Nadal pulled out of Toronto and Cincinnati, many doubted he would play the US Open. "It is not a big surprise, we knew it could happen.

The way he left Roland Garros, we could see it was difficult, physically, and it looks like it remains hard physically," Henin said on Eurosport. "We can also see a new generation pushing a lot and, of course, Rafa has to be in his best shape if he wants to compete.

If he comes to a Grand Slam, it is to win, and he is not in the condition to do that."

Henin suggests Nadal wouldn't be Novak Djokovic's top threat

Djokovic, ranked at No. 1, will capture a Calendar Grand Slam if he wins the US Open.

Roger Federer also won't be playing at the US Open as last week he announced a knee surgery. "Probably Novak [Djokovic] knew that Rafa and Roger would not be his toughest opponents. Of course, Rafa is Rafa and he can come to a Grand Slam and make the difference, but we know he needs to play, we know he needs matches and we knew he would need preparation matches in the States," Henin added.

"It would have been tough for him to be in good shape and to be able to push Novak, who is confident even though he lost at the Olympic Games. I don’t think it will change much for him, because he knows there will be other tough players to beat at the US Open and he needs to stay concentrated on himself."