Ashleigh Barty to skip US Open over coronavirus concerns

Ash Barty headlines absentees for US Open warm-up ahead of virus-hit Grand Slam

The first Grand Slam since tennis resumed is due to begin on 31 August at Flushing Meadows in NY. "Western & Southern Open and the U.S. Open this year", she told the Associated Press in a statement. If they don't sense safe, and do not feel comfortable, traveling and heading there plus putting by themselves and their staff at an elevated risk, and then it's totally understandable.

"I respect every player's decision", said Stacey Allaster, the U.S. Open tournament director, who has been pushing hard with her staff to salvage the tournament, which will be played without spectators and with extensive health precautions.

Sam Stosur will also reportedly miss the tournament at Flushing Meadows.

No Australian women's players are entered for the leadup event, although Alex de Minaur, Nick Kyrgios and John Millman are down for the men's tournament.

However, before this, her absence in the entry-list for the Cincinnati-based event that will be played at the US National Tennis Center this year had indicated that the Australian would not be travelling to the US.

Other players have expressed concern about travelling to the United States, where more than 150,000 people have died from COVID-19.

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The 2019 French Open champion never has advanced past the fourth round at the U.S. Open, though she did win the doubles title there with CoCo Vandeweghe in 2018.

European players are also anxious that undergoing mandatory quarantine upon returning to their continent will force them to miss high-profile tournaments in Madrid and Rome ahead of the French Open at the end of September.

It'll be the first time since 2010 that the women's top player will not be part of the Slam in NY and the Australian has also withdrawn from the upcoming Western & Southern Open.

The French Open champion admitted she has spent four months debating whether to take part at the Grand Slam tournament, due to begin on August 31 and last until September 13. "I am dealing with it better and I am feeling better", she stated.

Barty has been in Australia during the pandemic and is keeping an eye on the situation. Serena Williams, ranked No. 9 in the world, is scheduled to compete.

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