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World number one Barty to skip U.S. Open over COVID-19 concerns

“My team and I have decided that we won’t be travelling to the U.S. for the Western and Southern Open and the U.S. Open this year,” the Australian said in a statement issued by her manager on Thursday.

“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 U.S. next year.”

The Western and Southern Open, which is held annually in Cincinnati, has been moved to New York this year and is set to start in mid-August.

The U.S. Open kicks off on Aug. 31 and will be held in its usual home in Flushing Meadows, Queens, but will be played without fans in attendance to limit the spread of the virus.

The reigning French Open champion will decide later whether to defend her title at Roland Garros starting in late September.

“I will make my decision on the French Open and the surrounding WTA European tournaments in the coming weeks,” she said.

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