There was always a risk of some of the top players pulling out of the US Open this year and world number one Ash Barty has become the highest-ranked player to opt against travelling to New York.
On the day when the Cincinnati Open organisers announced the (tentative) player lists for the competition, Barty made the announcement she won’t be travelling to USA.
Speaking to the Australian Associated Press, Barty said:
“My team and I have decided that we won’t be travelling to Western and Southern Open and the US Open this year.”
“I love both events, so it was a difficult 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.”
Barty is the defending French Open champion, having won her maiden major last year in Paris, and she said she will take on participation in that competition at a later date.
The Aussie had an excellent 2019 which saw her make it to the quarterfinals at the Australian Open along with the fourth rounds at Wimbledon and US Open. Apart from the French Open victory, there were three other title wins including one at the Miami Open and the year-ending WTA Finals.
Barty began this year with a title triumph in Adelaide and made the semifinals at the Australian Open where she lost to the eventual champion Sofia Kenin.
Earlier Petra Kvitova had announced there could be many top withdrawals from the US Open because of the prevailing conditions related to coronavirus.