Women’s world No. 2 Simona Halep of Romania will not travel to New York to take part in the US Open due to Covid-19 concerns, she said on Monday (Aug 17).
“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 US Open,” Halep, the reigning Wimbledon champion, wrote on Twitter.
“I always said I would put my health at the heart of my decision and I therefore prefer to stay and train in Europe.
“I know the USTA (US Tennis Association) and WTA have worked tirelessly to put on a safe event and I wish everyone there a successful tournament.”
The US Open is already without Spanish men’s defending champion Rafael Nadal, injured Swiss star Roger Federer, Canadian reigning women’s champion Bianca Andreescu and top-ranked woman Ash Barty of Australia.
Halep had claimed her second title of the year on Sunday, when she beat Elise Mertens 6-2, 7-5 to win the Prague Open.
The US has around 5.5 million cases of Covid-19 and almost 172,000 people have died, according to a Reuters tally.
US Open organisers are creating a bio-secure bubble in New York with tough protocols to hold the tournament from Aug 31 without fans.