Nishikori tests negative for COVID-19, but withdraws from U.S. Open

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 10, 2019 Japan's Kei Nishikori in action during his quarter final match against Switzerland's Roger Federer REUTERS/Tony O'Brien

(Reuters) - Japan’s Kei Nishikori said on Wednesday he had tested negative for COVID-19 after testing positive twice this month but he has decided to skip the U.S. Open anyway.

The 30-year-old, a finalist at Flushing Meadows in 2014, withdrew from the Western & Southern Open hardcourt event after his first positive test, casting doubt over his participation in the Grand Slam tournament which starts on Monday.

“I am happy to announce that I tested negative for COVID. I will slowly pick up my practice schedule tomorrow,” the former world number four said on his website.

“Having said that, I (together with my team) have decided to skip the U.S. Open this year. After such a long break I feel that returning in a best of five long-match setting is not smart until I am fully ready to do so,” Nishikori, the world number 31, added.

“It’s disappointing as I love the U.S. Open and have great memories there,” he said. “I will start on the clay.”

Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles, editing by Ed Osmond