Australia’s Ashleigh Barty, the top-ranked woman in the world, announced on Wednesday that she will not be in New York to compete in the U.S. Open, citing concerns of traveling to the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is set to host both the U.S. Open and the Western & Southern Open, normally held in Cincinnati, next month.
“I love both events so it was a difficult decision,” Barty told Australian media. “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.”
Barty was last year’s French Open champion and has reached the U.S. Open fourth-round each of the last two years. She did not rule out competing in this year’s French Open, which is slated for late-September:
“I will make my decision on the French Open and the surrounding WTA European tournaments in the coming weeks.”