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Sports News:
Top-ranked Barty pulls out of US Open, citing travel risks

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) – No. 1-ranked Ash Barty is skipping the primary tennis main since January after deciding it’s too dangerous to travel for the U.S. Open in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 24-year-old Australian is the highest-profile participant thus far to decide out of the Aug. 31-Sept. 13 Grand Slam event in New York as a result of of the worldwide well being disaster.

“My team and I have decided that we won’t be travelling to the … Western & Southern Open and the U.S. Open this year,” Barty mentioned in an announcement emailed to The Associated Press on Thursday. “I really like each occasions so this was a troublesome determination, however there are nonetheless vital risks concerned as a consequence of COVID-19 and I don’t really feel comfy placing my group and I in that place.

“I wish the USTA all the best for the tournaments and I look forward to being back in the U.S. next year.”

Barty is but to determine if she’ll defend the French Open title she received final yr for her breakthrough singles main. The clay-court Grand Slam occasion was postponed earlier within the yr and rescheduled to start out Sept. 27, after the U.S. Open.

Barty reached the semifinals of the Australian Open in January, the one main tennis event accomplished this yr.

Australia’s closed worldwide borders would make it troublesome for Barty to travel abroad in the course of the pandemic. Technically, Barty must obtain permission from the federal government to travel overseas, and flight choices are restricted. Upon returning to Australia, vacationers face a compulsory two weeks in quarantine.

Other gamers have expressed concern about touring to the U.S., the place greater than 150,000 individuals have died from COVID-19.

Barty needed to decide as a result of entries have been open for the Western & Southern Open, which is scheduled for Aug. 20-28 and was moved from Cincinnati to the identical arduous courts on the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center which might be slated to host the U.S. Open.

Serena Williams, Coco Gauff, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have been on Wednesday’s preliminary Cincinnati entry lists – however Barty, two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka and 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu weren’t.

Being on Wednesday’s lists doesn’t essentially imply a participant will compete on the event.

No sanctioned skilled tennis occasions have been performed since March as a result of of the coronavirus. Both the ladies’s and males’s excursions plan to return in August. The ladies’s tour nonetheless goals to return subsequent week at Palermo, Italy.

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More AP Tennis: https://apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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