Alexander Zverev has officially withdrawn from the US Open due to his foot injury failing to heal in time.
Zverev was set to the number two seed in New York as he rides a career-high world ranking this season.
However, he has been forced to withdraw despite briefly raising hopes of a miraculous recovery.
Zverev injured his foot at Roland Garros in a freak fall in the semi-final against Rafael Nadal. It was a bruising encounter and three hours of tennis had not even been enough to complete two sets.
He chased a Nadal forehand down the line, but his foot got caught in the clay and he rolled his ankle before withdrawing immediately.
The following day he underwent surgery to repair three torn ligaments in the foot, and he has not been back on the ATP Tour since.
He has been back practicing, though, and earlier this month he told reporters in Hamburg that he believed the US Open could be a realistic target for his comeback. However, it appears that time has run out on him and he will sit out the tournament instead.
“After further examination in Germany, we received confirmation that all three of the lateral ligaments in my right ankle were torn," Zverev wrote on Instagram following his injury.
"To return to competition as quickly as possible, to ensure all the ligaments heal properly, and to reclaim full stability in my ankle, surgery was the best choice. My rehab starts now and I’ll do everything to come back stronger than ever!”
It will unquestionably be a blow for the German, with him a defeated finalist at Flushing Meadows in 2020. That was Zverev’s best Grand Slam result of his career so far, and it feels like a matter of time now before he wins a maiden major.
He will have to wait a little longer, though, with the Davis Cup in mid-September now likely to be his next target for a comeback.
For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to bookmark our home page.