Australian tennis star and women’s world number one Ash Barty has withdrawn from the US Open, weeks away from the Grand Slam.
Barty, 24, is the biggest star to pull out of the tournament set to begin at Flushing Meadows in New York City on September 1 amid fears over the coronavirus pandemic.
“My team and I have decided that we will not be traveling to the United States, the Western and Southern Open and the US Open this year,” the Queenslander said in a statement Thursday.
“I like both events so it was a tough decision, but there are still significant risks involved due to COVID-19 and I don’t feel comfortable putting my team and I in that position. .
Ash Barty (pictured at the Australian Open in January) has withdrawn from the upcoming US Open
“I wish USTA all the best for the tournaments and look forward to being back in the United States next year. “
Barty reached the fourth round in his last two US Opens in 2018 and 2019.
She will decide in the coming weeks if she will defend her crown at Roland Garros.
The delayed Grand Slam starts at Roland Garros on September 27.
Ash Barty (pictured with partner Garry Kissick) is yet to decide whether she will compete in the French Open, where she won her first Grand Slam last year
2011 US Open champion Sam Stosur will also miss the tournament after his partner recently gave birth to their daughter Evie.
“I have so many special memories from the tournament, but with everything going on, I don’t want to travel to New York and then have to quarantine for two weeks in a hotel when I get home,” said Stosur at Australian Tennis Magazine.
Fellow Australian Nick Kyrgios has previously expressed concerns about the US Open.
“ATP is trying to move the US Open forward. Selfish with everything that is going on right now. Obviously Covid, but also with the riots, together we must meet these challenges before tennis returns in my opinion, ”he tweeted on June 11.
“I don’t feel comfortable putting my team and me in this position,” Ash Barty said on Thursday.
The United States has recorded 4.49 million cases and more than 153,000 deaths from the virus.
On Wednesday, Kyrgios was named as a participant in next month’s US Open warm-up tournament, Western & Southern Open, but could still retire.
Organizers also named Australians Alex de Minaur and John Millman will also compete in the US Open warm-up tournaments, alongside superstars Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and Karolina Pliskova.