NEW YORK - Elite players led by world number one Roger Federer at the Cincinnati Masters expressed their concern Wednesday that Rafael Nadal will be forced to miss the US Open due to left knee tendinitis.

“It’s not a surprise, because I wrote him and he told me it wasn’t looking good at all,” said top seeded Federer. “But obviously when it’s official it’s disappointing for tennis, there’s no doubt about it.

“I would love to have him in the draw. With 12 days before the Open you figure he might still have time to fix what he has to fix to get ready. “There is obviously the whole debate going on if he is going come back for this year.

“I hope in hindsight this is a very smart decision by him. But it’s obviously a big blow and disappointing news for the tennis world.” Those sentiments were echoed by world ranked number two Novak Djokovic and fourth-ranked Olympic gold medalist Andy Murray.

“He’s a great competitor. I’m sure that if he was able to perform in the US Open he would come. So I wish him a quick recovery.” Murray, who has been dealing with a knee problem of his own over the last week or so, was equally sympathetic.”

“I’m disappointed for him, it’s obviously tough. He’s had trouble with his knees in the past. So I hope he can rest, doesn’t come back too early, and gets them fixed so he can get back to playing his best tennis.”