Former Champion Kuznetsova Among U.S. Open Tennis Withdrawals

Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2004 U.S. Open champion, heads a group of players who joined Rafael Nadal in withdrawing from the final major tournament of the tennis season.

Kuznetsova, 27, who also won the 2009 French Open, was 48th in the latest WTA Tour rankings. Also withdrawing from the women’s draw are top-20 players Kaia Kanepi of Estonia and Flavia Pennetta of Italy, and Elena Baltacha of Britain.

The U.S. Tennis Association didn’t give a reason for the withdrawals ahead of the U.S. Open, which begins Aug. 27 at the National Tennis Center in New York.

Nadal, an 11-time Grand Slam winner, said last week that injuries would prevent him from playing in the U.S. Open, which he won in 2010. France’s Gael Monfils, Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Chela and Spain’s Juan Carlos Ferrero also withdrew from the men’s draw, the USTA said yesterday.