BRISBANE, July 30: No 1-ranked Ash Barty has pulled out of the US Open because she doesn�t want to risk travelling during the coronavirus pandemic.
The 24-year-old Australian is the highest-profile player so far to opt out of the August 31-September 13 Grand Slam tournament in New York because of the global health crisis.
�My team and I have decided that we won�t be travelling to the ... Western & Southern Open and the US Open this year,� Barty said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press on Thursday.
�I love both events so this 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.
�I wish the USTA all the best for the tournaments and I look forward to being back in the US next year.�
Barty is yet to decide if she�ll defend the French Open title she won last year for her breakthrough singles major. The clay-court Grand Slam event was postponed earlier in the year and rescheduled to start September 27, after the US Open.
Australia�s closed international borders would make it difficult for Barty to travel during the pandemic. Technically, Barty would have to receive permission from the government to travel abroad, and flight options are limited. Upon returning to Australia, travelers face a mandatory two weeks in quarantine. � AP