Defending champion Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the US Open after failing to recover from a wrist injury.
Nadal was in a race to be fit for the final Grand Slam of the year, which begins on August 25, after injuring his right wrist during a training session in Majorca last month.
And the Spaniard has had to admit defeat, which is good news for Andy Murray who will now be moved up one place in the seedings to No 8.
It means the Brit will face an easier draw at Flushing Meadows should he make the last 16, facing an opponent seeded between No 9 and 12.
In an announcement on Monday afternoon, Nadal said: ‘I am very sorry to announce I won’t be able to play at this year’s US Open, a tournament on which I’ve played three consecutive finals in my last participations.
Doubling up: Nadal won the US Open for the second time last year – the first coming in 2010
‘I am sure you understand that it is a very tough moment for me since it is a tournament I love and where I have great memories from fans, the night matches, so many things.
‘Not much more I can do right now, other than accept the situation and, as always in my case, work hard in order to be able to compete at the highest level once I am back.’
As a result, Roger Federer is bumped up to the No 2 seed which is a boost to the 33-year-old’s hopes of winning his first Grand Slam since Wimbledon 2012.
If Federer – who won his first Masters title for two years in Cincinnati on Sunday – was to win the tournament, he would move above rival Nadal in the rankings to No 2.
King of New York: Nadal beat Novak Djokovic in the final at Flushing Meadows last year
It has not been the best of years for 14-time Grand Slam champion Nadal, whose last match was a shock last-16 defeat to 19-year-old Australian Nick Kyrgios at the start of July.
Nadal, 28, did win the French Open in June for a ninth time but struggled during the early part of the clay-court season and suffered a back problem during his defeat in the Australian Open final to Stanislas Wawrinka.
Sidelined: Nadal’s last outing was at Wimbledon earlier this summer…
Sent packing: Nadal crashed to a shock defeat at the hands of little-known Nick Kyrgios at SW19