Simona Halep has confirmed she won’t be competing in the US Open.
“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 @usopen,” Halep wrote on Twitter.
“I always said I would put my health at the heart of my decision and, therefore, I prefer to stay and train in Europe. I know the @usta and @WTA have worked tirelessly to put on a safe event and I wish everyone there a successful tournament,” she added.
She pulled out 24 hours after beating Elise Mertens, 6-2, 7-5, in convincing style to win the Prague Open.
She joined six other players from outside the U.S. who’ve announced they won’t travel to the U.S. for the tournament. The event starts on Thursday.
Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka or Coco Gauff are expected to be the big names.
Defending champion, Bianca Andreescu,the world No 1, Ashleigh Barty, along with Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens, Belinda Bencic and now Halep, as well as a number of lesser players are all no-shows.
Halep, a semi-finalist five years ago, probably would have started favorite in a hollowed-out field, as she is in excellent form.
Halep revealed before Sunday’s final she has trained only on clay during the sport’s five-month shutdown and will now continue her preparations for the Rome and French Opens next month.
It never looked likely she would risk a trip to New York, given her concerns about the continued and random spread of Covid-19 across the United States and it seems she was unconvinced that even the rigid safety precautions the United States Tennis Association has insisted on would be sufficient.