Belinda Bencic latest to withdraw from US Open

The world number eight will also skip the Western & Southern Open which is being held in New York this year instead of Cincinnati as a lead-up to the US Open.

Belinda Bencic is the latest top-10 player on the women's side to skip US Open.   -  Getty Images

World number eight Belinda Bencic has withdrawn from this year's U.S. Open, joining a growing list of players who have decided to skip the tournament amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bencic on Saturday announced her decision on Twitter where she also said she would skip the Western & Southern Open which is being held in New York this year instead of Cincinnati as a lead-up to the August 31-September 13 U.S. Open.

“I have made the difficult decision to skip the U.S. swing in New York and will return to the tour starting in Rome next month,” she said.

“I am looking forward to returning to New York next year and wish everyone competing there in the coming weeks the best of luck.”

READ | Defending champion Bianca Andreescu pulls out of US Open

The Swiss, who reached the semifinals of the U.S. Open last year, is the latest top-10 player on the women's side to skip the major, joining Australian Ash Barty (one), Canadian Bianca Andreescu (six) Ukraine's Elina Svitolina (five) and Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens (seven).

Her decision means three of last year's semifinalists have withdrawn, with Serena Williams the only one of the four set to take part at Flushing Meadows.

The United States Tennis Association has decided to go ahead with the Grand Slam without spectators while players will be asked to follow strict measures, including regular testing, in a bid to avoid spread of the virus.

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