Ashleigh Barty, the world number one in tennis, will not compete at the US Open in New York. As the Australian said in a message to the AAP news agency, she will also forego the previous tournament that has been moved from Cincinnati to New York.
“I love both tournaments, so it was a difficult decision,” said Barty: “But there are still significant risks with Covid-19 and I don’t feel comfortable exposing my team and me to it.”
Whether you traveling to Europe for the clay court season and defending her title in Roland Garros, she left open. The French Open, which is actually scheduled for late May to early June, is to be rescheduled from September 27. Barty had won her first Grand Slam title in Paris last year.
Barty’s cancellation is the most prominent so far for the US Open, which is scheduled from August 31 to September 13. It is questionable whether the Grand Slam tournament will actually take place in view of the high number of infections in the USA. Although numerous big names had questioned their start at the US tournaments, at least for the preparatory tournament, which was also relocated to New York from Cincinnati, Ohio, almost all top players have been registered.
Johns Hopkins University figures that the United States is by far the most severely affected nation in the world, with more than 4.4 million confirmed Covid-19 cases.