World number two women’s singles player Simona Halep has joined the list of top-ranked Tennis players to miss the US Open 2020 due to the coronavirus fears. Halep announced his decision to miss this year’s event at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday.
“After weighing up all the factors involved and with the exceptional circumstances in which we are living, I have decided that I will not travel to New York to play the @usopen,” tweeted Halep, the current Wimbledon champion. “I always said I would put my health at the heart of my decision and I therefore prefer to stay and train in Europe.”
She added, “I know the @usta and @WTA have worked tirelessly to put on a safe event and I wish everyone there a successful tournament.”
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 USA and with New York being one of the worst-hit regions, several men’s and women’s tennis stars have been apprehensive about participating in the tournament.
Halep follows world No.1 Ashleigh Barty, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens, who have already decided against playing in the US Open citing concerns related to the ongoing 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.
Meanwhile, six-time US Open champion Serena Williams will be there at the Flushing Meadows in an attempt to win her 24th career Grand Slam title and equal Margaret Court’s record.
World number one men’s singles player Novak Djokovic will also compete.