Queens, N.Y. (CBSNewYork)- Tennis season is just over a week away from re-starting with the Western and Southern Open and the US Open to be played in consecutive weeks at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens. When the action begins, the world’s top-ranked female player, Ashleigh Barty, won’t be in attendance.
The 24-year-old Australian has decided against traveling to New York for the event, saying that it is too risky in the mindst of the coronavirus pandemic.
“My team and I have decided that we won’t be traveling to the … Western & Southern Open and the U.S. Open this year,” Barty said in a statement emailed 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 U.S. next year.”
Barty was not the only name missing from the initial entry list for the Western and Southern Open, 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu was not either. On the entry list were Serena Williams, Coco Gauff, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. However, the initial entry list does not mean a player will compete at the tournament.