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Defending women’s singles US Open champion Bianca Andreescu withdraws from this year’s event

World No.1 Ashleigh Barty, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens had already decided against playing in the US Open this year.

SNS | New Delhi |

Defending champion Bianca Andreescu has withdrawn from this year’s US Open Grand Slam.

Defending women’s singles US Open champion Bianca Andreescu has withdrawn her name from this year’s even at the Flushing Meadows, citing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic in the USA.

“After many discussions with those closest to me, I have made the difficult decision not to return to New York this year,” Andreescu said in a statement posted on Twitter on Thursday. “I have taken this step in order to focus on my match fitness and ensure that I return ready to play at my highest level.”

The US Open is currently scheduled to be held behind closed doors from August 31 to September 13 with the Cincinnati Open being held at the Flushing Meadows before that from August 22.

However, due to rising COVID-19 cases in the country, several men’s and women’s tennis stars have been apprehensive about participating in the tournament.

“The US Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss not being there,” she continued. “However, I realise that the unforeseen challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at my highest level.

“I want to express my appreciation to the USTA and the WTA for all of their efforts in making the event happen. I look forward to joining my competitors back on court soon,” the world No. 6 concluded.

World No.1 Ashleigh Barty, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens have already decided against playing in the US Open amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among men, defending singles champion Rafael Nadal and five-time champion Roger Federer have also pulled their name out of this year’s US Open.

While Nadal took the decision keeping in mind the pandemic, Federer had already decided not to play any professional Tennis in 2020 after undergoing a knee surgery.