The US Open will be played without Ashleigh Barty. The Australian tennis player, world number one announced Thursday her package for the US Open and Western and Southern Open, citing the "significant risks" associated with the coronavirus. This decision is a serious setback for the American tournaments which are due to start at the end of August. This decision comes as the United States has passed the threshold of 150,000 deaths linked to the coronavirus.
Decision pending for Roland Garros
The Roland Garros winner is the biggest name in women's tennis to retire from this Grand Slam. "My team and I have decided that we will not be going to the Western and Southern Open and the US Open this year," she said in a statement. The Western and Southern Open, which is normally held in Cincinnati, has been moved to New York City due to the pandemic. New York and its surroundings were however able to contain at a low level the cases of contamination, after the outbreak of March-April, while Florida, Texas and California are among the most affected areas. "I wish the United States Tennis Federation the best for these tournaments and look forward to returning to the United States next year."
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The announcement of the 24-year-old comes as no surprise. At the beginning of June, she left doubts about her participation in the US Open which begins on August 31. "I love both events, which made it a difficult decision but there are still significant risks associated with Covid-19 and I don't feel comfortable placing ourselves, my team and I, in this situation." His presence is still uncertain for the Roland Garros tournament, which begins on September 27. "I will make my decision about the French Open and European tournaments on the WTA circuit in the coming weeks," she said.
The Western and Southern Open will nevertheless be able to count on the presence of world number one Novak Djokovic, his runner-up Rafael Nadal, and Serena Williams among the ladies, during its edition scheduled for August 20 to 28 in New York, announced Wednesday the organizers. the United States has 4.4 million confirmed cases and is the country most bereaved by the virus.