Ashleigh Barty, the reigning French Open champion and current top-ranked singles player in women's tennis, has opted out of playing in the Western & Southern Open and the U.S. Open because of COVID-19 concerns.
"My team and I have decided that we won't be traveling to the US for the Western and Southern Open and the U.S. Open this year," Barty said in a statement. "I love both events so it 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 look forward to being back in the US next year. I will make my decision on the French Open and the surrounding WTA European tournaments in the coming weeks."
The U.S. Open is scheduled for Sept. 1-13 in New York City.
Barty, 24, ascended to the top spot of the WTA singles ranking in June 2019, shortly after defeating Markéta Vondroušová in the French Open final. She advanced to the fourth round in last year's U.S. Open, losing to Wang Qiang in straight sets.
Barty's last Grand Slam appearance came in this year's Australian Open, where she was knocked out in the semifinals by eventual champion Sofia Kenin.