World number one Ashleigh Barty has decided to skip the US Open due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The French Open champion will not make her return in the United States, where the WTA Tour season’s resumption is due to continue next month.
Barty, 24, said concerns over COVID-19 meant she was skipping the US Open, with the USA having seen more than 150,000 deaths due to coronavirus.
“My team and I have decided that we won’t be travelling to the US for the Western and Southern Open and the US Open this year,” the Australian told the Herald Sun 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 US next year.”
The French Open is also still scheduled to go ahead, beginning at Roland Garros on September 27.
Barty, who reached the Australian Open semi-finals earlier this year, offered no guarantees she would defend her title in Paris.
“I will make my decision on the French Open and the surrounding WTA European tournaments in the coming weeks,” she said.