World number two Simona Halep of Romania will not travel to New York to take part in theUS Open due to COVID-19 concerns, she said on Monday.
“After weighing up all the factors involved and with the exceptional circumstances in which we are living, I have decided that I will not travel to New York to play the US Open,” Halep, the reigning Wimbledon champion, wrote on Twitter.
“I always said I would put my health at the heart of my decision and I therefore prefer to stay and train in Europe. I know the USTA and WTA have worked tirelessly to put on a safe event and I wish everyone there a successful tournament.”
Earlier on Sunday, Eighth-ranked Belinda Bencic, whose deepest Grand Slam run was into last year’s US Open semifinals, declared that she will skip this year’s US Open and return in Rome next month.
The 23-year-old Swiss joins a host of top players who are passing on playing at Flushing Meadows when the next Grand Slam tournament begins on August 31.
“I have made the difficult decision to skip the US swing in New York and will return to the tour starting next month in Rome,” Bencic said in a statement.
“I am looking forward to returning to New York next year and wish everyone competing there in the coming weeks the best of luck.”
US Open Tennis : 6 of top 8 Women tennis players have withdrawn from US Open 2020
Reigning US Open champion Bianca Andreescu of Canada, who ousted Bencic in last year’s US Open semi-finals, said Thursday she will not play in New York, joining men’s 2019 winner Rafael Nadal in skipping the tournament.
Also absent from this year’s US Open will be Australia’s top-ranked Ashleigh Barty, Ukraine’s fifth-ranked Elina Svitolina, seventh-rated Kiki Bertens and past winner Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia.
– World No. 1 Ash Barty (Australia) – Withdrawn
– World No. 2 Simona Halep (ROM) – Withdrawn
– World No. 5 Elina Svitolina (UKR) – Withdrawn
– World No. 6 Bianca Andreescu (CAN) – Withdrawn
– World No. 7 Kiki Bertens (NED) – Withdrawn
– World No. 8 Belinda Bencic (SUI) – Withdrawn
Serena Williams, seeking a 24th career Grand Slam title to match Margaret Court’s all-time record, will compete at the US Open, as will men’s world number one Novak Djokovic.
New York was one of the hardest-hit US cities when COVID-19 first spiked in March and April, a temporary hospital even being established on indoor courts at the US Tennis Center.