Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens withdraw from U.S. Open

Men's defending champion Rafa Nadal and women's world number one Ash Barty have also opted against travelling to New York to play the hardcourt Grand Slam.

World number 7 Kiki Bertens has pulled out of the US Open (File Photo).   -  Getty Images

Two more top-10 women -- Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens -- will miss the U.S. Open this year, joining No. 1-ranked Ashleigh Barty in skipping the Grand Slam tennis tournament during the coronavirus pandemic.

The fifth-ranked Svitolina, a Ukrainian who was a semifinalist at Flushing Meadows a year ago, posted on social media on Friday that she doesn't feel comfortable to travel to the United States and put "her team and herself at high risk".

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No. 7 Bertens, who is Dutch, wrote on Instagram that one of her concerns is the need to be quarantined upon returning to Europe after the 2020 U.S. Open, which runs from August 31 to September 13 and will not have any spectators.

The French Open -- where Bertens reached the semifinals in 2016 -- is scheduled to begin on September 27. She also wants to participate in the clay-court tournament in Rome before heading to Paris.

"The situation around COVID-19 is still that worrying and the health of everyone and the control over this virus is priority," Bertens wrote.

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Defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal also has said he won’t play at the U.S. Open, citing concerns about traveling during the pandemic. Also out of the field is Roger Federer, who is sitting out the rest of the season after two operations on his right knee.

Stan Wawrinka, Fabio Fognini and Gael Monfils are among other men not going to New York.

The professional tennis tours went on hiatus in March because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The women’s circuit returned to action this week in Palermo, Italy, while the men are scheduled to begin play later this month.

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