World primary Ashleigh Barty introduced Tuesday she won’t defend her French Open crown, citing the coronavirus fears that additionally prompted her and a number of other different high gamers to withdraw from the US Open. The Australian, who claimed her maiden Grand Slam at Roland Garros in 2019, mentioned it was a “tough” choice however the well being of her household and crew got here first. “Final yr’s French Open was probably the most particular event of my profession so this isn’t a call I’ve made calmly,” she mentioned on social media.

“There are two causes for my choice — the primary is the well being dangers that also exist with Covid.

“The second is my preparation, which has not been best with out my coach with the ability to prepare with me as a result of state border closures in Australia.”

Barty is predicated in Brisbane whereas her coach, Craig Tyzzer, is in Melbourne and unable to journey as town battles a big second-wave virus outbreak.

She introduced in late July that she would sit out the US Open, at the moment underway in New York, with defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal and world quantity two Simona Halep amongst those that additionally opted out due to the pandemic.

On the time, Barty was nonetheless monitoring the scenario with the French Open, which is because of begin on September 27, however mentioned Tuesday her withdrawal was the most recent growth in “a difficult yr for everybody”.

“I want the gamers and the French Federation all the very best for a profitable event,” the 24-year-old mentioned.

“I now sit up for an extended pre-season and the summer time in Australia.”

Serena undecided

The destiny of Barty’s dwelling Grand Slam, the Australian Open in January, is but to be decided, with the chance it may very well be moved out of Melbourne if town’s outbreak has not eased.

Barty’s straight-sets victory over Marketa Vondrousova within the French Open final yr helped propel her to world primary, a place she has held since.

Her final aggressive singles match was in late February on the Qatar Open.  

Barty’s French Open withdrawal comes after event organisers mentioned all gamers on the Grand Slam could be housed in two designated inns “with out exception” to scale back coronavirus dangers.

Each day crowd numbers have been diminished to 11,500 from 20,000 and the Roland Garros complicated is being divided into three impartial zones, with no crossover between them.

Serena Williams has indicated she would like to remain in personal lodging whereas competing in Paris, as she has finished in New York.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion, who has a historical past of great lung issues, mentioned she would converse to French Open organisers earlier than making a call on whether or not to compete.


“I am actually taking it in the future at a time. I will should make the very best choice for my well being,” Williams advised reporters after making the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows.

“It is simply, I nonetheless have some questions, however I am actually type of, mockingly, centered on New York but it surely’s type of onerous as a result of these Grand Slams are so shut to one another this yr,” she added.

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